Skip to main content

“Building Faith in our Future”

Volume 448: debated on Monday 3 July 2006

25. What progress has been made in implementing the recommendations in the paper, “Building Faith in our Future”; and if he will make a statement. (81388)

I refer my hon. Friend to the answer that I gave to the hon. Member for Lichfield (Michael Fabricant). We continue to make significant progress in helping parishes and dioceses respond to the opportunities and challenges that church buildings present. We await the Government response.

Given the potential for church tourism to support and maintain church buildings at the heart of many of our local communities, will my hon. Friend do his best to ensure a co-ordinated approach to its development, involving the Church Commissioners, the Government, the tourist industry and the Department for Culture, Media and Sport?

My hon. Friend has regularly championed faith tourism and we agree about its importance. I am happy to tell him that Church officials had a positive meeting at the Department for Culture, Media and Sport on church tourism last week. He might also be glad to know that the Churches Tourism Association will launch its tourism marketing initiative at its annual convention in November. The Church Commissioners, as well as my hon. Friend, will take a close interest in those proceedings.