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Religious Buildings: Water Charges

Volume 488: debated on Monday 23 February 2009

To ask the hon. Member for Middlesbrough, representing the Church Commissioners whether the Church Commissioners plan to take steps to implement the resolution of the General Synod on church water rates; and if he will make a statement. (257843)

The General Synod motion urged the Government to press Ofwat to ensure that water companies did not treat places of worship as if they were businesses and, as my hon. Friend will note from my remarks on the Floor of the House on 5 February 2009, Official Report, columns 971-72, I fully support the position taken by General Synod.

I might add by way of a statement that the Archbishops Council will take the lead in the Church’s ongoing discussions with Government on this matter and it will do so not only with General Synod’s support but also the support of the Church Commissioners, the wider Church, other charitable bodies, a good many Members of Parliament and, it seems, an increasing proportion of the general public.