Thinking Anglicans

Church Commissioners Questions

The Second Church Estates Commissioner (Tony Baldry MP) answered questions in the House of Commons yesterday.

Women Bishops

7. Diana Johnson (Kingston upon Hull North) (Lab): What assessment the Church of England has made of the likely requirement for provincial episcopal visitors following the entry into force of any legislation enabling the consecration of women bishops. [33923]

Tony Baldry: Provincial episcopal visitors operate under the terms of the Act of Synod, which will be rescinded if the draft legislation to enable women to become bishops is approved and brought into force. It will on any basis be at least two more years before that stage is reached and there remain important questions about how suitable episcopal oversight will be provided under the new legislation and associated code of practice for those with theological difficulties over the ordination of women.

Diana Johnson: Given the general climate of cutting costs and removing superfluous posts, if the welcome reform of women bishops is going to happen soon, which I hope it will, should not the new flying bishops be grounded now?

Tony Baldry: The provincial episcopal visitors are there under the Act of Synod. Under the Act of Synod, the archbishop is expected to take steps to secure the appointment of up to two additional suffragans in his diocese to act as provincial episcopal visitors. As I have explained, even if the Synod gives final approval to the draft legislation, the Act of Synod will remain in place for some time to come. We must keep faith with all sorts of different groups in the Church of England until there is a final decision on women bishops within the Church.

Here are links to other questions for oral answer.
Redundant Churches
Christians in Pakistan
Christians in Sudan
Parish Priests
King James Bible

There were also questions for written answer, including one on Youth Groups and this one.

Ministers of Religion: Pensions

Miss McIntosh: To ask the hon. Member for Banbury, representing the Church Commissioners, what contingency arrangements the Church Commissioners have made to cover the pension liabilities of former Roman Catholic priests who moved to the Church of England in the last five years. [34163]

Tony Baldry: Figures held centrally by the Ministry Division of the Archbishop’s Council show that in the period 2005-10 the division’s candidate’s panel dealt with 14 former Roman Catholic priests seeking ordination in the Church of England, of whom 11 were accepted for ministry. As there is discretion at diocesan level over the requirements for acceptance into ministry, not all cases are centrally recorded, meaning the national figure is likely to be higher. There are, however, no pensions implications for the Church Commissioners who are responsible only for clergy pensions earned for service in the Church of England before 1998.

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