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St Alban's, Teddington

Volume 77: debated on Monday 15 April 1985

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asked the hon. Member for Wokingham, as representing the Church Commissioners, if he will publish in the Official Report, in respect of St. Alban's, Teddington, all the press releases issued by the commissioners.

The commissioners have only published one press release in respect ofthe redundantchurch of St. Alban Teddington, namely on 28 January 1985. This release, which was made jointly with the diocess of London, was issued solely in response to a report published by The Victorian Society on this building. The text was as follows:

ST. ALBAN THE MARTYR, TEDDINGTON

The Victorian Society has published a Report on the redundant church of St. Alban the Martyr, Teddington.This Report contains a number of serious inaccuracies; for example, about the care of the building since it was declared redundant and the fate of some of its contents.

Following protracted consultation with Richmond Borough Council and the GLC, the London diocesan authorities reported to the Church Commissioners that they had been unable to find a suitable alternative use for the building. The alternative courses for consideration under the relevant Statute are either preservation by the Redundant Churches Fund or demolition.

The present position is that the Commissioners, with whom the final decision rests, await the advice of their independent Statutory advisers before they consider carefully and then decide which of these two courses to pursue. Before givingits advice, the Advisory Board for Redundant Churches is consulting the RedundantChurches Fund about the likely cost of repairs and future maintenance, and as to whether the Fund has money available for these purposes.

asked the hon. Member for Wokingham, as representing the Church Commissioners, if he will publish in the Official Report, in respect of St. Alban's, Teddington, all the written recommendations made to the commissioners by the redundant churches fund together with the commissioners' responses.

The redundant churches fund has made no written recommendations to the commissioners. However, under the provisions of the Pastoral Measure 1983, the advisory board for redundant churches has consulted the fund. The views of the fund were expressed to the advisory board in a letter dated 31 January 1985. I am sending a copy of the letter to my hon. Friend.

asked the hon. Member for Wokingham, as representing the Church Commissioners, if he will publish in the Official Report, in respect of St. Alban's, Teddington, all the written recommendations made to the commissioners by the Council for the Care of Churches together with the commissioners' responses.

The Council for the Care of Churches has made no written recommendations to the commissioners. However, under the provisions of the Pastoral Measure 1968 and its successor, the Pastoral Measure 1983, the council makes reports on churches likely to be declared redundant. The only expression of the council's view with regard to St. Alban's Teddington and the nearby church of St. Mary's was made on 15 February 1973 about four years before the church was declared redundant.

asked the hon. Member for Wokingham, as representing the Church Commissioners, on what date the Church Commissioners received the advice of the Advisory Board for Redundant Churches on the redundant church of St. Alban's Teddington; and when the commissioners intend to publish their decision.

The final advice of the advisory board for redundant churches was received by the commissioners on 20 February 1985. The commissioners' announcement about the next steps to be taken with regard to the future of this redundant church will be published when the advisory board's advice and all other relevant factors have beenfully considered.