To ask the Member for South West Bedfordshire, representing the Church Commissioners, what assessment the Church Commissioners have made of (a) the effect of the covid-19 outbreak on church parishes and (b) the support that dioceses will require to (i) recover and (ii) ease the legal and administrative burdens experienced by those parishes as a result of that outbreak.
The Commissioners, in partnership with the Archbishops’ Council, provided £75m of immediate liquidity support and established a £35m Diocesan Sustainability Fund programme, plus a £20m Cathedral Sustainability Fund, following the decline in churches’ and cathedrals’ income from donations and visitors during Covid-19 pandemic lockdowns.
The Legislative Reform Committee of the General Synod and the Church Commissioners are consulting on simplifying legal and administrative burdens experienced by parishes. A review of the Mission and Pastoral Measure 2011 is currently underway, and a green paper has been published, which will be debated at the General Synod at its July meeting. The green paper forms the basis of a consultation with dioceses, parishes and other stakeholders. The consultation will remain open until 15 September 2021.
The Church Commissioners would welcome the views of all Members and their constituents on the questions set out in the paper, and I am placing a copy in the Library of the House of Commons for reference.
The Green Paper and supporting material are also available on the consultation website at: https://www.churchofengland.org/resources/parish-reorganisation-and-chu…
Andrew Selous MP, Second Church Estates Commissioner
8th July 2021