On 1 July Lord Berkeley of Knighton asked Her Majesty’s Government “what is their response to reports that orchestras and cultural venues are facing permanent closure as a result of lockdown due to the COVID-19 pandemic.” The Rt Revd Alan Smith, Bishop of St Albans, asked a follow up question focusing on performing music during Covid-19.
The Lord Bishop of St Albans: My Lords, it is not just the performance venues that are suffering but many churches and halls rented out for rehearsal space. Will the Minister update the House on the progress of research undertaken into singing and playing woodwind and brass instruments, to see how these activities might be safely undertaken while minimising the risk of spreading Covid-19?
Continue reading “Bishop of St Albans asks Government about performing music during Covid-19”
On 29th June 2020 the Second Church Estates Commissioner, Andrew Selous MP, answered two written questions on the reopening of churches and financial support for struggling parish churches from Bell Ribeiro-Abby MP.
Bell Ribeiro-Addy (Streatham): 65019 To ask the Member for South West Bedfordshire, representing the Church Commissioners, what steps the Church of England has taken to provide financial support to single parish churches to avoid the redundancy, salary review and staff restructuring of employed musicians.
Andrew Selous: In March, the Church Commissioners and Archbishops’ Council announced over £75m of liquidity support to dioceses and cathedrals. This money included allowing dioceses in financial need to access up to three months forbearance on sums required for the national clergy payroll [or clergy stipends] for a limited period and paying monthly grants in full for 2020. In May the National Church Institutions announced a diocesan grant scheme supported by the Church Commissioners, which totalled up to £35m of sustainability funding.
Continue reading “Church Commissioners’ Written Answers: financial support and church musicians”
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 24th June 2019 Lord Black of Brentwood asked the Government “what steps they are taking to address the decline in the number of students taking music A-level”. The Bishop of Chichester, Rt Revd Dr Martin Warner, asked a follow-up question:
Bishop of Chichester: My Lords, does the Minister agree that the decline in music A-level is part of a broader problem of social inequality in access to music itself and music education? Is it not time for the Government to reassess the persistent and growing evidence of the damaging effect of EBacc and the contribution of music through other routes such as BTEC in broadening access to our leading conservatoires, and to adjust the disproportionate bursary funding that allows £9,000 to music graduates but up to £32,000 to graduates in other subjects, in spite of recognition that music is vital to sustaining the creative industries in our country?
Continue reading “Bishop of Chichester puts decline in students taking A-Level music down to social inequality”
On the 9th of January the Second Church Estates Commissioner, the Rt Hon Dame Caroline Spelman answered a written question about cathedral choristers:
Adam Holloway (Gravesham): To ask the Right Honourable Member for Meriden, representing the Church Commissioners, how many cathedrals and abbeys (a) do and (b) do not appoint a head chorister. (205856)
Continue reading “Church Commissioners Written Answer – Cathedral Choirs”
On 18th October 2018 the House of Lords debated a motion from Lord Black of Brentwood “that this House takes note of the state of music education in schools.” The Bishop of Chichester, Rt Revd Martin Warner, spoke in the debate:
The Lord Bishop of Chichester: My Lords, I am grateful to the noble Lord, Lord Black, for his magnificent introduction to this debate, and for the opportunity for us to remind ourselves of the vital importance of music and the arts generally to the creative industries and the life of our nation.
The decline in funding for music in schools, and in its take-up at GCSE and A-level, has already been identified and the crisis we now face has been rehearsed. I add my voice to those who have called for a thorough review, and possibly the abolition of the EBacc as a means of addressing the situation. Continue reading “Bishop of Chichester calls for more investment in music education in schools”
On 19th July 2018 the Bishop of Chichester, Rt Revd Martin Warner, delivered his first speech in the House of Lords, during a debate led by Lord Norton of Louth, “That this House takes note of the value to the United Kingdom of higher education as an export.” The full text of his speech is below, as are the welcoming remarks from other Members of the House:
The Lord Bishop of Chichester (Maiden Speech): My Lords, I begin by recording my thanks for the welcome and encouragement that I have received both today and on so many occasions since being introduced into your Lordships’ House. Continue reading “Bishop of Chichester highlights importance of arts and education in first speech to the Lords”
On 30th October 2017 the Second Church Estates Commissioner, Dame Caroline Spelman MP, answered a question from Philip Hollobone MP about church music and St. Sepulchre-without-Newgate Church in London:
Mr Philip Hollobone(Kettering): To ask the right hon. Member for Meriden, representing the Church Commissioners, what the policy is of the Church Commissioners on the playing of secular music in (a) St. Sepulchre-without-Newgate Church and (b) all churches. Continue reading “Church Commissioners answer: church music and St. Sepulchre-without-Newgate Church”
The Bishop of Lichfield, the Rt. Revd. Jonothan Gledhill, made a speech during the short evening debate on the long term financial sustainability of the National Music Plan in England. In it, he called for an increase in the number of music hubs, as well as greater financial support for them; highlighting the tremendous benefits a high-quality music education can have for children in all aspects of their lives.
Read the full transcript of his speech here:
The Lord Bishop of Lichfield: My Lords, I congratulate the noble Lord, Lord Aberdare, on introducing this important and timely short debate. I welcome the national plan for music education, which emphasises the importance of music and the creation of music education hubs in this country, I also welcome the fact that the report has taken note of the recommendations made in the Henley review, perhaps the most comprehensive and thorough review of the state of music education in England for many years. I thank the noble Lord, Lord Berkeley of Knighton, for his support of church music as well. Continue reading “BISHOP OF LICHFIELD SPEAKS IN SHORT DEBATE ON THE SUSTAINABILITY OF MUSIC EDUCATION”