Church Commissioners Written Answer: thefts from churches

On 5th November 2019, Dame Caroline Spelman, the Second Church Estates Commissioner, answered a written question from Gregory Campbell MP, about trends in thefts from churches:

Gregory Campbell (DUP): 4943 To ask the right hon. Member for Meriden, representing the Church Commissioners, what assessment he has made of trends in the level of major property thefts from Churches in the last five years.

Dame Caroline Spelman: The Church of England does not hold data on thefts centrally, but it is kept by local police forces, Historic England and the insurance industry.

The most prominent form of property theft from churches is that of metal (mainly lead from roofs) and of historic building materials such as flagstones. These are items with a high resale value and which, once removed, can be difficult to identify as coming from a particular place.

Continue reading “Church Commissioners Written Answer: thefts from churches”

Church Commissioner Questions: Tributes, climate change, archbishops, reconciliation, telecommunications, thefts, women in prison, marriage, digital evangelism

On 31st October 2019 Rt Hon Dame Caroline Spelman answered questions from MPs for the last time as Second Church Estates Commissioner. Tributes were paid to her, and questions were answered on climate change, archbishops, reconciliation, telecommunications, thefts, women in prison, marriage, and digital evangelism. This was also the same day that the Speaker and his Chaplain were due to retire. A full transcript follows:

Church Commissioners

The right hon. Member for Meriden, representing the Church Commissioners, was asked—

Climate Change: Investment in Companies

Michael Tomlinson (Mid Dorset and North Poole) (Con): What progress the Church of England has made on holding the companies in which it invests to account on climate change. [900272]

The Second Church Estates Commissioner (Dame Caroline Spelman): Since this is my last set of oral questions, I would like to record my heartfelt thanks to my small team of staff, and especially my constituency secretary, who has faithfully served me for 20 out of 22 years. We often forget that our staff are on the frontline of much of the abuse that we receive, and I want to record my admiration for their fortitude. I also thank the amazing staff I have had to support me in this role, particularly Simon Stanley at Church House.

In tribute, Mr Speaker, I thank you for your kindness and courtesy—unfailingly so, and especially at times of personal duress. I single out your inspired choice of Speaker’s Chaplain, who has enriched the spiritual life of this place—but more of that later.

The Church of England Pensions Board has tabled a shareholder resolution ahead of the annual general meeting of BHP Billiton, the world’s largest mining company, on 7 November this month. It asks BHP to suspend its membership of trade associations that are not lobbying in line with the climate change agreement. This is just the latest example of the Church Commissioners using their shareholder position to change company policy in line with the climate change agreement.

Continue reading “Church Commissioner Questions: Tributes, climate change, archbishops, reconciliation, telecommunications, thefts, women in prison, marriage, digital evangelism”

Church Commissioners written answers: Thefts from churches

spelman170119On 18th July 2019 the Second Church Estates Commissioner, Rt Hon Dame Caroline Spelman MP, answered three written questions from Sir Oliver Heald MP about theft of church materials:

Sir Oliver Heald (North East Hertfordshire): (i) 277093 To ask the right hon. Member for Meriden, representing the Church Commissioners, pursuant to Answer of 8 July 2019 to Question 269594 on Churches, which dioceses keep records of (a) thefts and (b) attempted thefts of metal. Continue reading “Church Commissioners written answers: Thefts from churches”

Church Commissioners written answer: Metal theft from churches

spelman170119dOn 8th July 2019 the Second Church Estates Commissioner, Rt Hon Dame Caroline Spelman MP, answered a written question from Sir Oliver Heald on theft from churches:

Sir Oliver Heald (North East Hertfordshire): 269594 To ask the right hon. Member for Meriden, representing the Church Commissioners, if the Commissioners will make an estimate of the number of thefts of lead from church buildings in (a) the diocese of St Albans and (b) England in (i) 2018 and (ii) 2019 to date. Continue reading “Church Commissioners written answer: Metal theft from churches”

Church Commissioners written answer: lead theft

On 1st July 2019 the Second Church Estates Commissioner, Rt Hon Dame Caroline Spelman MP, answered a written question from Sir Oliver Heald (North East Hertfordshire) on lead theft from churches:

Sir Oliver Heald: 269594 To ask the right hon. Member for Meriden, representing the Church Commissioners, if the Commissioners will make an estimate of the number of thefts of lead from church buildings in (a) the diocese of St Albans and (b) England in (i) 2018 and (ii) 2019 to date.

Continue reading “Church Commissioners written answer: lead theft”

Church Commissioner Questions – rural parish clergy, metal theft, bell ringing, gravestones

On 21st February 2019 questions were put by MPs to the Church Commissioners in the House of Commons, on rural parish clergy, metal theft, bell ringing, and gravestones.

In the absence of the Second Church Estates Commissioner questions were answered by the Leader of the House, Rt Hon Andrea Leadsom MP. As Lord President of the Council, the Leader of the House is one of the State Office Holders who are ex-officio Church Commissioners.  Continue reading “Church Commissioner Questions – rural parish clergy, metal theft, bell ringing, gravestones”

Church Commissioner Questions: historic buildings, Christian persecution overseas, promoting marriage

On 17th January 2019 the Second Church Estates Commissioner, Rt Hon Dame Caroline Spelman MP, answered questions from MPs on historic church buildings, Christian persecution overseas, and the promotion of marriage. A full transcript follows:

Church Commissioners
The right hon. Member for Meriden, representing the Church Commissioners, was asked—

Protection of Historic Church Buildings

Alex Burghart (Brentwood and Ongar) (Con): What steps the Church of England is taking to ensure that historic church buildings are protected. [908606]

The Second Church Estates Commissioner (Dame Caroline Spelman): The Church of England continues to suffer thefts of metal and other items of historical and architectural interest from its churches. The Archbishop’s Council conducted an inquiry into this, and the trend appears to be gradually moving from east to west and from south to north. I encourage my hon. Friend to look at the Church of England [Churchcare] website for ways of protecting his churches more successfully. Continue reading “Church Commissioner Questions: historic buildings, Christian persecution overseas, promoting marriage”