Church Commissioners Written Questions: Church Buildings, Heritage Protection, LGBT+ People, Religious Freedom, Funding for Rural Churches, and the Coronation of King Charles III

Andrew Selous MP, representing the Church Commissioners, gave the following written answerto questions from MPs on 31st January 2023:

Ben Bradshaw MP (Lab): To ask the Member for South West Bedfordshire, representing the Church Commissioners, what the cost of legal support provided by (a) dioceses and (b) the Church Commissioners to incumbents and PCCs of parishes affected by pastoral reorganisation making a representation at an oral hearing of the Mission, Pastoral and Church Property Committee was in each of the last five years.

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Bishop of Southwark asks about religious freedom in Israel

The Bishop of Southwark received the following written answer on 26th January 2023:

The Lord Bishop of Southwark asked His Majesty’s Government what representation they have made to the government of Israel to safeguard and protect religious minorities in that country following the desecration of graves at the Protestant Cemetery on Mount Zion, Jerusalem.

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Bishop of Guildford asks about freedom of religion in Pakistan

The Bishop of Guildford received the following written answer 5th November 2022:

The Lord Bishop of Guildford asked His Majesty’s Government what strategy they have, if any, for promoting freedom of religion or belief in Pakistan; and what discussions they have held with the government of Pakistan in pursuing any such strategy.

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Bishop of Leeds asks about freedom of expression in Pakistan

The Bishop of Leeds received the following written answer on 16th November 2022:

The Lord Bishop of Leeds asked His Majesty’s Government what assessment they have made of (1) freedom of religion or belief, (2) freedom of assembly, and (3) freedom of expression, in Pakistan.

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Bishop of St Albans asks about treatment of Christians in Iran

The Bishop of St Albans received the following written answer on 31st October 2022:

The Lord Bishop of St Albans asked His Majesty’s Government what assessment they have made of the recent treatment of Christian minorities in Iran.

Lord Ahmad of Wimbledon (Con): Promoting the right to freedom of religion or belief for all is one of the UK’s longstanding human rights priorities.

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Bishop of Guildford asks about detention of church leaders in China

The Bishop of Guildford received the following written answer on 31st October 2022:

The Lord Bishop of Guildford asked His Majesty’s Government what representations they have made to the government of China regarding recent reports that at least 10 leaders from unregistered Protestant churches were arrested and charged with fraud over normal church financial activities in 2021, including Zhang Chunlei, Yang Xiaoguang, and Hao Ming.

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Bishop of Manchester asks about freedom of religion

The Bishop of Manchester received the following written answer on 5th September 2022:

The Lord Bishop of Manchester asked Her Majesty’s Government what assessment they have made of the outcomes of the International Ministerial Conference on Freedom of Religion or Belief on 5 to 6 July; and what steps they are taking, if any, to review their strategy on freedom of religion or belief following that Conference.

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Bishop of Guildford asks about freedom of religion in the Commonwealth

The Bishop of Guildford asked the following question on 28th June 2022, during a debate on the Commonwealth:

The Lord Bishop of Guildford: My Lords, as the Minister knows extremely well, this week marks a brief lull between the Commonwealth Heads of Government Meeting in Rwanda last week and the International Ministerial Conference on Freedom of Religion or Belief in London next week. Given the overlap between those two conferences, what progress has been made on this basic human right, not least given that three of the Commonwealth nations—India, Pakistan and Nigeria—are among the worst when it comes to protecting the rights, and even the lives, of Christians and those of other faiths and beliefs?

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Bishop of Guildford asks about the Persecution of Christians Across the Globe Independent Review

The Bishop of Guildford received the following written answer on 27th June 2022:

The Lord Bishop of Guildford asked Her Majesty’s Government:

  • in advance of the third anniversary of the publication of the Bishop of Truro’s Independent Review for the UK Foreign Secretary of Foreign and Commonwealth Office Support for Persecuted Christians, published on 4 July 2019, whether they intend to fulfil recommendation 22 of that report.
  • who will conduct the review of the progress made since the Bishop of Truro’s Independent Review for the UK Foreign Secretary of Foreign and Commonwealth Office Support for Persecuted Christians, published on 4 July 2019; what will be their terms of reference; and when the findings of this review will be published.
  • whether they intend to implement any of the recommendations of the Bishop of Truro’s Independent Review for the UK Foreign Secretary of Foreign and Commonwealth Office Support for Persecuted Christians, published on 4 July 2019, after 4 July this year.
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Church Commissioner Questions: parishes, freedom of religion, housing, Channel crossings, marriage, new clergy, arts and culture

On 28th April 2022 MPs asked Andrew Selous MP, representing the Church Commissioners, about parish ministry, freedom of religion & belief, affordable and sustainable housing, illegal migrant crossings in the Channel, families parenting and marriage, candidates entering Holy Orders, and supporting arts and culture. A transcript is below.

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