Church Commissioners Written Answers: LGBTQ+ People

Andrew Selous MP, representing the Church Commissioners, gave the following written answer to a question from an MP on 22nd February 2023:

Elliot Colburn MP (Con): To ask the Member for South West Bedfordshire, representing the Church Commissioners, in the context of the Church of England’s Living in Love and Faith process and the forthcoming General Synod, what assessment the Commissioners have made of the potential impact of the Church of England’s exemptions from the Equality Act 2010 on LGBT+ people.

Andrew Selous MP (Con): The National Church Institutions have made no such assessment. The exceptions in the Equality Act are for all religious organisations rather than for the Church of England specifically. It is unlikely that any of the exceptions will be engaged by Living in Love and Faith and therefore no assessment has been carried out.

Hansard

Second Estates Commissioner to Synod – not the job of Parliament to decide Church of England doctrine

On 8th February 2023 the Church of England General Synod debated a motion on same-sex marriage and the response of the College of Bishops to the Church’s Living in Love and Faith process. The Second Church Estates Commissioner addressed the Synod:

Andrew Selous MP, Second Church Estates Commissioner. Ex-officio 458:

I was called to answer an urgent question on this issue in the House of Commons on 24th January. I was amused to be told the urgent question would not be repeated in the House of Lords because there was apparently no one to speak for the Church of England in the House of Lords !

I pledged to make MPs views known to Synod. Of the twelve who spoke that day, eight expressed a hope that the Synod would change doctrine to enable same-sex couples to be married by the Church. There were deep and heartfelt stories from a number of MPs of the personal sense of hurt they felt at what they considered to be ongoing discrimination against LGBT+ people.

Others have contacted me in private, for fear of retribution, to support traditional doctrine and several said that it is for Synod, not for Parliament, to reach its own prayerful decision on this issue. Copies of the Hansard extract are available at the administration desk.

Continue reading “Second Estates Commissioner to Synod – not the job of Parliament to decide Church of England doctrine”

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.

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

Church Commissioner Questions: Church Attendance, Sustainable Maintenance, Historic Involvement with Slavery, Lichfield Cathedral, and Blessings for Same-sex Couples

On 26th January 2023, MPs put questions in the House of Commons to the Second Church Estates Commissioner, Andrew Selous MP:

Parish Churches: Family Attendance

Kevin Foster MP (Torbay, Con), asked:

  1. What recent steps the Church of England has taken to encourage families to attend events at parish churches.

Andrew Selous MP: There are Church of England churches that provide breakfast and lunch clubs, as well as youth, children’s and toddler activities, including messy church and much more besides. A vibrant children’s and youth ministry is often a key component of church growth.

Continue reading “Church Commissioner Questions: Church Attendance, Sustainable Maintenance, Historic Involvement with Slavery, Lichfield Cathedral, and Blessings for Same-sex Couples”

Church Commissioners Written Answers: Church Land, Environment, Persecuted Christians (Africa and China), Women in Ministry, Equality, Energy

Andrew Selous MP, representing the Church Commissioners, gave the following written answerto questions from MPs on 1st December 2022:

Jim Shannon MP (DUP): To ask the Member for South West Bedfordshire, representing the Church Commissioners, whether the Church is taking steps to plant more trees on its land in rural areas.

Andrew Selous MP (Con): During 2021 the Church Commissioners planted approximately 2 million trees across their land holdings. In 2021 the Commissioners also purchased land in Wales with the intention of establishing a new woodland of c.85,000 new trees (subject to the grant of planting permissions).

Continue reading “Church Commissioners Written Answers: Church Land, Environment, Persecuted Christians (Africa and China), Women in Ministry, Equality, Energy”

Church Commissioner Questions: public worship, tree planting, Christmas services, gender-based violence, Living in Love and Faith, cathedral services, Christian persecution, community support, consistory court appeals

On 26th November MPs put questions to the Second Church Estates Commissioner, Andrew Selous MP, on public worship, tree planting, Christmas services, gender-based violence, Living in Love and Faith, cathedral services, Christian persecution, community support and consistory court appeals. A transcript is below:

Church Commissioners

The hon. Member for South West Bedfordshire, representing the Church Commissioners was asked—

Covid-19 Lockdown: Public Worship

Sir Edward Leigh (Gainsborough) (Con): What representations the Church of England has made to the Government on the importance of public worship during periods of covid-19 lockdown. [909344] Continue reading “Church Commissioner Questions: public worship, tree planting, Christmas services, gender-based violence, Living in Love and Faith, cathedral services, Christian persecution, community support, consistory court appeals”

Church Commissioner Questions: LGBT+ equality, civil partnerships, church buildings, church schools and universities, HS2, Christians in Nigeria

On 6th February 2020 the Second Church Estates Commissioner, Andrew Selous MP, answered  questions from MPs in the House of Commons, on behalf of the Church Commissioners.

Questions were asked about LGBT+ equality, civil partnerships, church buildings, church schools and universities, HS2, and Christians in Nigeria.

Continue reading “Church Commissioner Questions: LGBT+ equality, civil partnerships, church buildings, church schools and universities, HS2, Christians in Nigeria”

Church Commissioners written answers: theology and practice

spelman170119On 3rd September 2019 the Second Church Estates Commissioner, Rt Hon Dame Caroline Spelman MP, answered six written questions from Sir John Hayes MP, on the 2008 Jerusalem Statement, the Global Anglican Future Conference, the 39 Articles,  the proportion of Church employees who are practising Christians, and biblical teaching on sex and gender in relation to transgender issues:

Sir John Hayes: (i) 281583 To ask the right hon. Member for Meriden, representing the Church Commissioners, whether the Archbishop of Canterbury will pledge his commitment to the Jerusalem Statement of 2008. Continue reading “Church Commissioners written answers: theology and practice”

Bishop of Coventry condemns homophobic and misogynistic attacks

On 11th June 2019 Lord Kennedy of Southwark asked the Government “whether current statute is a sufficient deterrent in preventing homophobic and misogynistic attacks”. The Bishop of Coventry, Rt Revd Christopher Cocksworth, asked a follow-up question:

Coventry171123 bThe Lord Bishop of Coventry: My Lords, I am sure that Members of your Lordships’ House would expect these Benches to join in the outrage at these attacks. We do so fully, condemning them on behalf of the Church of England and of other churches and faith communities.

The Minister will know—and I admit—that the churches and other faith communities have their own debates over sexual relationships and practices, including same-sex ones. However, does she know that the Church of England has developed a set of pastoral principles aimed at eradicating the seeds of prejudice, fear and ignorance? Does she also know that that builds on the initiative of our four-year programme in schools, stopping the seeds of hate that she described germinating at a very early age? Continue reading “Bishop of Coventry condemns homophobic and misogynistic attacks”

Civil Partnerships, Marriages and Deaths (Registration etc) Bill – Bishop of Oxford responds to amendment on same-sex marriage

On 1st March 2019 the House of Lords considered the Civil Partnerships, Marriages and Deaths (Registration etc) Bill at its Report Stage. Lord Faulkner of Worcester tabled an amendment to the Bill similar to that which he had tabled in Committee on the process by which the Church of England and Church in Wales might opt-in to conduct same-sex marriages. The Bishop of Oxford responded to the amendment, explaining that it was not necessary as there were already legal mechanisms in place for both Churches to opt-in should they choose to. The Minister also emphasised these points in her response and the amendment was not put to a vote. The Bishop’s speech is below, and the whole debate on the amendment is reproduced underneath.

The Lord Bishop of Oxford: My Lords, those were extremely moving speeches. I thank the noble Lords, Lord Faulkner, Lord Collins and Lord Cashman, and the noble Baroness, Lady Brinton, for the contributions they have made in the Chamber today and the moving way in which they have spoken. I thank them for sharing their personal experiences so movingly, and for the important and necessary articulation of the views they have heard within the broader Church of England in favour of movement and inclusion. I deeply regret the language used in writing to the noble Lord, Lord Collins, and others; it has no place in the contemporary Church.

The Church is committed to listening carefully to the wisdom of the nation, to the wisdom in our continued debate in this Chamber and to the voices of LGBTI people at all levels in the life of the church. We are committed in our public statements to the inclusion and welcome of all.

Continue reading “Civil Partnerships, Marriages and Deaths (Registration etc) Bill – Bishop of Oxford responds to amendment on same-sex marriage”

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