Church Commissioners written answers: Church tourism and local economy

spelman170119eOn 26th June 2019 the Second Church Estates Commissioner, Rt Hon Dame Caroline Spelman MP, answered two written questions from Jim Shannon MP (Strangford) on Church-based tourism and community development:

Jim Shannon MP: 271461 To ask the right hon. Member for Meriden, representing the Church Commissioners, what steps the Church of England has taken to promote tourism to its churches and cathedrals.

Dame Caroline Spelman: The Church of England welcomes the Government’s new Tourism Sector Deal, which encompasses all our churches and cathedrals and will give a significant boost to our cultural heritage. Cathedrals in England attract over 10 million visitors a year, the majority as tourists.

The Church supports the work of the Churches Visitor and Tourism Association on several initiatives that help the public learn more about their local churches:

Continue reading “Church Commissioners written answers: Church tourism and local economy”

Church Commissioners’ answer – Cathedral entry charges

On 13th September 2017 Rt Hon Dame Caroline Spelman MP, Second Church Estates Commissioner, answered a written question from Matthew Offord MP about admission charges for cathedrals and abbeys:

Dr Matthew Offord (Hendon): To ask the right hon. Member for Meriden, representing the Church Commissioners, what assessment she has made of the effect of admission costs for cathedrals and abbeys in England on the ability of UK families to visit such places. Continue reading “Church Commissioners’ answer – Cathedral entry charges”

Church Commissioners’ answer: Camping in church buildings

On 10th July 2017 the Second Church Estates Commissioner, Rt Hon Dame Caroline Spelman MP, answered a written question from Matthew Offord MP about camping inside church buildings:
Dr Matthew Offord (Hendon) To ask the right hon. Member for Meriden, representing the Church Commissioners, what discussions the Commissioners have had with Church of England representatives on expanding the availability of champing in England’s churches.

Continue reading “Church Commissioners’ answer: Camping in church buildings”

Church Commissioner questions: Israel/Palestine, human trafficking, prisons, social media, low carbon economy, tourism, lead theft

On 19th January 2017 the Second Church Estates Commissioner, Rt Hon Dame Caroline Spelman MP, answered questions in the House of Commons from MPs on Israel/Palestine, human trafficking, prisons, social media, low carbon economy, tourism and lead theft. The transcript is below:

spelman-190117b Continue reading “Church Commissioner questions: Israel/Palestine, human trafficking, prisons, social media, low carbon economy, tourism, lead theft”

Bishop of St Albans asks Government about funding for rural and coastal homes

St Albans 2On 8th December 2016 Baroness Gardner of Parkes asked Her Majesty’s Government “whether they intend to give powers to local authorities to prevent the further loss of long-term residential accommodation resulting from increases in short-term holiday lets.” The Bishop of St Albans, Rt Revd Alan Smith, asked a follow up question:

The Lord Bishop of St Albans: My Lords, back in July the Minister kindly wrote to me to reassure me that the promised £60 million fund to enable rural and coastal communities to provide accommodation for local people was still on course, despite it having been delayed following the events in June. It is nearly 2017 and I do not think we have heard any more about that fund. Can the Minister assure your Lordships’ House that the scheme is still on course? When will the money be made available for those communities suffering most from second-home ownership? Continue reading “Bishop of St Albans asks Government about funding for rural and coastal homes”

Bishop of St Albans asks Government if they have plans to increase the public forest estate

On 17th March 2015 Baroness Royall of Blaisdon asked Her Majesty’s Government “what steps they are taking to protect the Forestry Commission’s stake in Forest Holidays and to ensure that in the event of a sale by the majority shareholder they would not lose all management control of any future development.” The Bishop of St Albans, Rt Revd Alan Smith, asked a supplementary question:

Bishop of St AlbansThe Lord Bishop of St Albans: My Lords, the Forestry Commission in England is to be congratulated on the significant rise in the number of people visiting our public forest estates, not least as it is against the background of a recent report which suggests that the number of people visiting rural areas has slightly declined. Continue reading “Bishop of St Albans asks Government if they have plans to increase the public forest estate”

Cathedrals and the Future of English Heritage – Commons debate

The number of visitors to cathedrals, not counting other churches, is some 11 million people a year, which is equivalent to current visitor levels to English Heritage properties – Rt Hon Sir Tony Baldry MP, 2/4/14

On 2nd April 2014 Rt Hon Sir Tony Baldry MP, Second Church Estates Commissioner, spoke in a House of Commons debate about the future of English Heritage.

Sir Tony raised the importance of ecclesiastical buildings to the cultural heritage of the nation and asked for assurances that altering the status of English Heritage would not change the valuable work done by their conservation specialists, so weakening the progress of research and support available to those who operate listed and heritage buildings.

Future of English Heritage

14.01 CCQ Baldry

Sir Tony Baldry (Banbury) (Con): The whole House owes a debt to the hon. Member for Darlington (Jenny Chapman) for securing the debate. I declare an interest as a member of English Heritage. The image on this year’s membership card is a statue of King Richard III, whose mortal remains were recently discovered in a car park in Leicester—an outstanding feat of English archaeology. We now await the decision of the courts as to which of our noble cathedrals those mortal remains will be buried in. Continue reading “Cathedrals and the Future of English Heritage – Commons debate”