Andrew Selous MP, representing the Church Commissioners, gave the following written answers to questions from MPs on 2nd December 2022:
Jim Shannon MP (DUP): To ask the Member for South West Bedfordshire, representing the Church Commissioners, in what way cathedrals are supporting community cohesion in communities they serve.
Andrew Selous MP (Con): First and foremost cathedrals are places of worship, but like parish churches they are also community buildings and often a focus for civic gatherings of faith, political and business leaders in our cities, which facilitate discussions for the common good. They are regularly used for pilgrimages, festivals, concerts, exhibitions and lectures, which are open to all in the community.
Continue reading “Church Commissioners Written Answers: Cathedrals, Church Repair and Maintenance, and Support for Family Relationships, Parenting and Marriage”
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.
Continue reading “Church Commissioner Questions: parishes, freedom of religion, housing, Channel crossings, marriage, new clergy, arts and culture”
On 1st April 2022, the House of Lords debated the Marriage and Civil Partnerships (Minimum Age) Bill in its second reading. The Bishop of Worcester spoke in support of the bill, raising points regarding marriage and the age of consent:
The Lord Bishop of Worcester: I welcome the Bill warmly and in doing so, thank the noble Baroness, Lady Sugg, and all those who have worked very hard on it. It takes very important steps to protect exploited young people, especially girls. Having welcomed the Bill, I want to raise one consideration that seems, so far, to have gone relatively unremarked upon during its passage. I hope that it will be noted by the Government and returned to at a later date.
Continue reading “Marriage and Civil Partnership (Minimum Age) Bill: Bishop of Worcester speaks in debate”
On 27th January 2022 MPs asked the Second Church Estates Commissioner, Andrew Selous MP, answered questions in the House of Commons chamber:
Churches and Cathedrals: Sustainability
Jerome Mayhew (Broadland) (Con)
What assessment the Church of England has made of the steps needed to put the maintenance of churches and cathedrals on a sustainable basis. (905258)
Continue reading “Church Commissioner Questions: church buildings, racial inequality, freedom of religion or belief, parenting and marriage, gay and lesbian Christians, Christians in the Middle East, church schools”
The Second Church Estates Commissioner (Andrew Selous): The Church estimates that over the next five years at least £1.14 billion of maintenance and repairs are needed for churches and cathedrals. The Church is very grateful that 550 churches and cathedrals have already benefited from the culture recovery fund, but there remains an urgent need for predictable and sustainable sources of funding, which enable us to keep skilled builders and craft people in work.
On 27th October 2020 the Bishop of Carlisle received a written answer to a question on counselling and mediation services for divorcing couples:
The Lord Bishop of Carlisle: To ask Her Majesty’s Government, further to the passing of the Divorce, Dissolution and Separation Act 2020 on 25 June, what information and guidance they plan to provide online about the availability of counselling and mediation services for couples going through the procedure of divorce. [HL9117] Continue reading “Bishop of Carlisle asks Government about counselling and mediation services for divorcing couples”
On 14th September 2020 the Second Church Estates Commissioner Andrew Selous MP answered eleven written questions from Jim Shannon MP, on ethical investment, St Margaret’s Westminster, Christian persecution, South Sudan, church schools, coronavirus and church buildings, lead theft, the Beirut explosion, marriage, mental health, and ordinations: Continue reading “Church Commissioner Written Answers: ethical investment, St Margaret’s Westminster, Christian persecution, South Sudan, church schools, coronavirus, church buildings, lead theft, Beirut explosion, marriage, mental health, ordinations”
On 25th June 20202 the Second Church Estates Commissioner, Andrew Selous MP, answered questions from MPs in the House of Commons, on: church building reopening, weddings, housing, public worship, music, online services, family life, church finances and the Transition Pathway Initiative. A transcript is below:
Continue reading “Church Commissioner questions: church building reopening, weddings, housing, public worship, music, online services, family life, church finances and the Transition Pathway Initiative”
On 24th June Lord Farmer asked Her Majesty’s Government “when weddings will be able to take place in venues which enable social distancing and comply with other COVID-19 precautions”. The Rt Revd Christine Hardman, Bishop of Newcastle, asked a follow up question focusing on hymn singing in churches.
The Lord Bishop of Newcastle: My Lords, it is with great delight that we received news yesterday that weddings will once again be permitted. This will be an enormous joy to many couples and families all across England. As the Minister will know, hymns are most often a focal point of a wedding service. Given yesterday’s announcement about live performances, can he give us any more detailed guidance about singing in churches, both choral and congregational?
Continue reading “Bishop of Newcastle asks Government about post-lockdown rules on hymn singing in church”
On 19th March 2020 the Second Church Estates Commissioner, Andrew Selous MP, answered questions in the House of Commons on church closures, coronavirus, persecution of Christians, and marriage support. A transcript is below:
The hon. Member for South West Bedfordshire, representing the Church Commissioners was asked—
Church Closure and Use
Bob Blackman (Harrow East) (Con):
- To ask the hon. Member for South West Bedfordshire, representing the Church Commissioners, what criteria the Church of England uses to decide when to close a church and offer the building to other denominations and traditions. 
The Second Church Estates Commissioner (Andrew Selous): I am pleased to be able to tell my hon. Friend that the Church opens as many, if not more churches than it closes each year. Parishes may want to focus their mission elsewhere, if the church in question is in a very remote rural location or if there is a very high repair bill. Use for worship by other Christian bodies is generally considered the best use, but there are many other suitable uses.
Continue reading “Church Commissioner Questions – Church closures, coronavirus, persecuted Christians, marriage support”
On 18th March 2020 the Second Church Estates Commissioner, Andrew Selous MP, answered a written question from Sir Desmond Swayne MP on marriages:
Sir Desmond Swayne (New Forest West): 28560 To ask the hon. Member for South West Bedfordshire, representing the Church Commissioners, in what circumstances a Church of Scotland minister is able to conduct a wedding in the Church of England. Continue reading “Church Commissioners’ Written Answer: Marriages”