asked the hon. Member for Wokingham, as representing the Church Commissioners, what is the current position in relation to the redundant church of St. Alban's, Teddington.
At the invitation of the commissioners, my right hon. Friend the Secretary of State for the Environment has decided to hold a non-statutory public local inquiry into the proposed demolition of this building. The inquiry will be held on 22–23 January next year.
Can my hon. Friend give the latest official estimate of the cost of putting St. Alban's into a safe, sound and decent condition and of obtaining a fund to keep it that way? Is he aware that there are signs that the Greater London council might put up £300,000 towards it? Would that be anything like enough?
My hon. Friend will understand that I must be careful to say nothing that will prejudice the inquiry. I have seen published figures which show that the cost, as at January 1985 prices. including VAT and fees, of putting the building into repair is between £800,000 and £1 million. My hon. Friend can well judge from that what any projected contributions would achieve.