Canlyniadau 1–20 o 7901 ar gyfer speaker:Caroline Spelman

Written Answers — Church Commissioners: Churches: Theft ( 5 Tach 2019)

Caroline Spelman: Holding answer received on 04 November 2019 The Church of England does not hold data on thefts centrally, but it is kept by local police forces, Historic England and the insurance industry. The most prominent form of property theft from churches is that of metal (mainly lead from roofs) and of historic building materials such as flagstones. These are items with a high resale value...

Environment, Food and Rural Affairs: Animal Cruelty (31 Hyd 2019)

Caroline Spelman: That is very kind of you, Mr Speaker. I will save my tribute for the right time, in due course. Unfortunately, as colleagues with rural constituencies may know, at this time of the year there is a steep rise in the number of abandoned horses as winter approaches. A couple of weeks ago I personally dealt with four abandoned ponies, including two foals barely weaned at 12 weeks. They were in a...

The right hon. Member for Meriden, representing the Church Commissioners, was asked: Climate Change: Investment in Companies (31 Hyd 2019)

Caroline Spelman: Since this is my last set of oral questions, I would like to record my heartfelt thanks to my small team of staff, and especially my constituency secretary, who has faithfully served me for 20 out of 22 years. We often forget that our staff are on the frontline of much of the abuse that we receive, and I want to record my admiration for their fortitude. I also thank the amazing staff I have...

The right hon. Member for Meriden, representing the Church Commissioners, was asked: Climate Change: Investment in Companies (31 Hyd 2019)

Caroline Spelman: My hon. Friend’s illustration shows that the Church is consistent from top to bottom in its determination to tackle climate change. Today we really can celebrate the fact that Salisbury diocese, with all that it has had to cope with, is indeed the first to win an award for an entire diocese. These awards are provided by the Christian environmental charity, A Rocha. Perhaps upon hearing...

The right hon. Member for Meriden, representing the Church Commissioners, was asked: Climate Change: Investment in Companies (31 Hyd 2019)

Caroline Spelman: I thank the hon. Gentleman for his very kind words. I nearly invited my family to come and sit in on this last set of questions, but I think that if they had heard that description, there might have been a little heckling from the Gallery, so it is a big relief that they will read about it without having the opportunity to heckle. The hon. Gentleman is absolutely right, and the Church needs...

Church Commissioners: Archbishops of Canterbury and York: Workload (31 Hyd 2019)

Caroline Spelman: The Archbishops of York and Canterbury have many duties in relation to the northern and southern provinces of the Church of England, and the Archbishop of Canterbury is also the spiritual leader of the Anglican communion, a global network numbering tens of millions of members. There is no doubt in my mind that both these men are able and effective.

Church Commissioners: Archbishops of Canterbury and York: Workload (31 Hyd 2019)

Caroline Spelman: Fortunately, I had a little advance notice of the tenor of my hon. Friend’s question. He is absolutely right that, for around 16 years between 787 and 803, there was an Archbishop of Lichfield. This arose from the fact that King Offa, in the kingdom of Mercia, struck a deal with the Pope, requesting an archbishop to be named to serve in his kingdom, but that deal involved sending an annual...

Church Commissioners: Community Reconciliation (31 Hyd 2019)

Caroline Spelman: The Church of England is involved in reconciliation work, both at home and abroad, and most recently on the international scene, the leadership of the Church of England has worked with the Roman Catholic Church on peace-building in Sudan, convening a meeting of Sudanese leaders in the Vatican. The Archbishop of Canterbury identified reconciliation as one of the key priorities for his tenure.

Church Commissioners: Community Reconciliation (31 Hyd 2019)

Caroline Spelman: There is an active proposition to initiate a reconciliation process, run out of Coventry. The cathedral of Coventry has a mission for peace and reconciliation because of its heritage. The Archbishop of Canterbury has spearheaded this offer. I do not know much about retirement, but I have offered to help with this process, because there is no doubt that we need to heal the divisions in our...

Church Commissioners: Community Reconciliation (31 Hyd 2019)

Caroline Spelman: I thank my hon. Friend for his kind words. I certainly welcome him to this Question Time in his role as the special envoy for freedom of religion and belief. He can do important work within the Foreign Office to deliver on promises that officials will be required to undertake religious literacy training before postings to countries where it is really important to understand the role of...

Church Commissioners: Community Reconciliation (31 Hyd 2019)

Caroline Spelman: Those are such kind words, and I will treasure them; I really appreciate the thought that went into expressing them. On the work of our prison chaplains and in particular the focus on ex-prisoners being reconciled into their communities, my hon. Friend is right. I did in fact host a meeting in Parliament with Bishops Christine and Rachel of Newcastle and Gloucester respectively, which focused...

Church Commissioners: Telecommunications: Use of Churches (31 Hyd 2019)

Caroline Spelman: This is a subject that my right hon. Friend has been very diligent in drawing to my attention. I recently met the Minister for digital and broadband, my hon. Friend the Member for Boston and Skegness (Matt Warman), and we had a really positive discussion about the work the Church is doing to increase access to digital and broadband networks in rural areas. Hon. Members may recall that the...

Church Commissioners: Telecommunications: Use of Churches (31 Hyd 2019)

Caroline Spelman: I am not sure what can be said in answer to that, but hon. Members present will know with what great affection my right hon. Friend is held, affectionately known by most of us as Dessie. There is no one I would rather entrust my life to in a tight spot than this remarkable, brave individual. On the matter raised, I just want to record the Church’s welcome for the announcement made by the...

Church Commissioners: Thefts from Churches (31 Hyd 2019)

Caroline Spelman: As we have seen all too clearly in the recent very heavy rainfall, wet weather is often the moment we realise we have a hole in the roof, and, sadly, many churches have discovered that through the theft of lead from church roofs. It is only when the weather turns inclement that thousands of pounds worth of damage is done, which small congregations simply do not have the resources to meet. The...

Church Commissioners: Thefts from Churches (31 Hyd 2019)

Caroline Spelman: I thank the hon. Lady for those very kind words, and indeed, with the full support of my staff, I did speak out about the abuse we face and that might perhaps be part of my legacy to this place; I hope sincerely that those who are returned will really do something about it, particularly by tackling the wild west of the internet where there is not sufficient regulation of what is expressed,...

Church Commissioners: Marriage: 16 and 17-year-olds (31 Hyd 2019)

Caroline Spelman: The legal position is that 16 and 17-year-olds are entitled to have their banns published and to marry in church. I am sure that all Members who have been to an Anglican wedding will be familiar with the moment during the service when the priest asks whether anyone has an objection to the marriage. That is part of the marriage process. When a young couple are preparing for marriage, they are...

Church Commissioners: Marriage: 16 and 17-year-olds (31 Hyd 2019)

Caroline Spelman: As I mentioned earlier, the Anglican communion covers a very large number of nations and a very large number of people whose cultural norms differ from our own, but aid agencies often handle the issue of child marriage very effectively through their health and education programmes. I particularly commend the work of the Mothers Union in this respect. Its members are active in, for instance,...

Church Commissioners: Marriage: 16 and 17-year-olds (31 Hyd 2019)

Caroline Spelman: I thank my hon. Friend for his kind words. We did indeed enter Parliament together, and in those early weeks when we did not really have an office, and we were adjusting to the long-hours culture, and we missed our children—I was pining for mine—he was kind enough to make me hot cocoa late at night. I have not forgotten those early times. Let me update the House. My hon. Friend was the...

Church Commissioners: Digital Technology: New Congregations (31 Hyd 2019)

Caroline Spelman: During my time as Second Church Estates Commissioner, I have seen the Church of England transform its digital communications. Its annual mission statistics show, for example, that the Daily Prayer app has been downloaded more than 5 million times and is used on average for eight minutes per user per day; our social media now reaches 3.6 million people; the A Church Near You website allows...

Church Commissioners: Digital Technology: New Congregations (31 Hyd 2019)

Caroline Spelman: I thank my hon. Friend for his kind words. For the record, I must say that being Second Church Estates Commissioner has been a great blessing. When I was invited to do the job, David Cameron said to me, “The thing about this role, Caroline, is that you are answerable only to the Queen and God.” What a privilege that is! It so happens that I met the diocesan directors of communication...


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