On 19th May 2020 the Second Church Estates Commissioner, Andrew Selous MP, answered a written question on the reopening of churches, from Tracey Crouch MP.
Tracey Crouch (Chatham and Aylesford): 902801 To ask the hon. Member for South West Bedfordshire, representing the Church Commissioners, what assessment the Church of England has made of the potential effect on public health of reopening churches.
Andrew Selous: The House of Bishops meets regularly to review its own guidance to clergy in light of Government and public health advice.
On 5th May the House of Bishops issued new guidance, which can be seen at: https://www.churchofengland.org/more/media-centre/news/house-bishops-backs-phased-approach-revising-access-church-buildings
Continue reading “Church Commissioners’ Written Answers: Reopening Churches”
On 19th May 2020 the Second Church Estates Commissioner Andrew Selous MP, answered two written questions, from Rachael Maskell MP and Barry Sheerman MP on the reopening of churches for baptisms, weddings and funerals:
Rachael Maskell (York Central): 902797 To ask the hon. Member for South West Bedfordshire, representing the Church Commissioners, what the Commissioners’ timetable is for enabling churches to reopen safely for funeral services after the covid-19 lockdown.
Andrew Selous: The Church Commissioners do not have responsibility for setting a timetable for the reopening of church buildings for funeral services.
Current guidance from the House of Bishops is not to conduct funeral services in church buildings because of widely expressed concerns about parishes having capacity to conduct such funerals safely, including being able to clean churches thoroughly between services to reduce the risk of transmission of the virus. This is guidance, not instruction.
Continue reading “Church Commissioners’ Written Answers: Baptisms, Weddings and Funerals during Covid-19”
On 19th May 2020 the Second Church Estates Commissioner, Andrew Selous MP, answered questions in the House of Commons on coronavirus, access to worship, family life, education, the clergy discipline process and hospital chaplaincy. A transcript is below:
The hon. Member for South West Bedfordshire, representing the Church Commissioners, was asked—
Continue reading “Church Commissioner Questions – Coronavirus, Access to Worship, Family Life, Education, Clergy Discipline Process and Hospital Chaplains”
On 18th May 2020 the Second Church Estates Commissioner, Andrew Selous MP, answered two written questions on the reopening of churches, from Dr Luke Evans MP and Andrew Rosindell MP.
Dr Luke Evans (Bosworth): 45480 To ask the right hon. Member for South West Bedfordshire, representing the Church Commissioners, what steps is the Government taking to work with churches and dioceses to ensure the safe opening of churches for religious worship.
Andrew Rosindell (Romford): 45018 To ask the right hon. Member for South West Bedfordshire, representing the Church Commissioners, what steps the Church of England is planning to take to allow it to reopen churches as soon as possible while limiting the risk of spreading covid-19.
Andrew Selous: The Church of England is committed to the reopening of buildings in a phased way, in accordance with the rules, restrictions and timetable established by Government. On 5th May the House of Bishops issued guidance, which can be seen here: https://www.churchofengland.org/more/media-centre/news/house-bishops-backs-phased-approach-revising-access-church-buildings
Continue reading “Church Commissioners’ Written Answers: Coronavirus and Reopening of Churches”
On 24th March 2020 the House of Lords debated the emergency legislation from the Government to deal with the Coronavirus pandemic. The Bishop of Rochester, Rt Revd James Langstaff, spoke in the debate, highlighting issues to do with church closures, funerals, and care of the vulnerable, including the homeless, and those in prison or immigration detention:
The Lord Bishop of Rochester: My Lords, in these days I have been reflecting on the words of the Hebrew psalmist who, at the time of his people’s exile, articulated the question:
“How can we sing the Lord’s song in a strange land?”
In many ways we are entering into a strange land, and indeed in some ways a land of exile: a land in which we are exiled from many of our normal patterns of living, in which people of faith are not able to attend their places of worship and in which many people find themselves having to live life in entirely new ways.
Continue reading “Coronavirus Bill: Bishop of Rochester responds on church closures and care for vulnerable”
During Business Questions in the House of Commons, the Second Church Estates Commissioner, Rt Hon Sir Tony Baldry MP, drew attention to the Ash Wednesday Eucharist taking place the following week in the Parliamentary Chapel, at which the Archbishop of Canterbury would preside. The Leader of the House responded.
Sir Tony Baldry (Banbury) (Con): Will my right hon. Friend ensure that on Tuesday evening, the House finishes its business promptly at 7 o’clock, so that we can all get home, finish our pancakes, and have an early night, as on Wednesday, the first day of Lent, at 7.45 am, the Archbishop of Canterbury is celebrating Holy Communion in the Undercroft chapel? Everyone working in the Palace of Westminster is very welcome to attend.
Mr Lansley: I am grateful to my right hon. Friend, and I am sure that the House appreciates the opportunity to go to the Ash Wednesday service that he advertises. I think that there is nothing on the Order Paper at the moment that would require us to extend our proceedings beyond the moment of interruption at 7 o’clock on Tuesday.
On 20th January 2014, the Bishop of Ripon and Leeds spoke in favour of an amendment to the Anti-social Behaviour, Crime and Policing Bill, during the Bill’s Report Stage. The amendment, proposed by Lord Deben and co-sponsored by the Bishop of Newcastle, related to the use of amplified noise equipment in vicinity of the Palace of Westminster, and the Bishop spoke of the impact that such equipment has on worship in Westminster Abbey and St Margaret’s Church.
Continue reading “Bishop of Ripon and Leeds speaks in favour of amendment to reduce noise disturbance around Westminster Abbey”