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Church Commissioners

Volume 494: debated on Thursday 18 June 2009

The hon. Member for Middlesbrough, representing the Church Commissioners, was asked—

Economic Downturn (Assistance)

6. What steps the Church Commissioners are taking to assist the Church during the economic downturn. (280576)

Despite the economic downturn, the commissioners plan to maintain the level of their distributions in cash terms this year and into next year.

Will my hon. Friend assure me that when the commissioners look at expenditure in cash terms there will be a keen prioritisation and selection of expenditure categories, because that is going to be vital? Will the selection of those priorities will reflect the needs of the 21st century Church?

I am grateful to my hon. Friend. Supporting the Church’s ministry, particularly in areas of need and opportunity, is the priority that the Church sets itself. We want to spend our sums wisely. This summer we are holding a series of conferences with our beneficiaries, and that detailed engagement will help us to assess the priorities to which he refers; we then seek to help the growth of the Church.