5. What steps the Church Commissioners are planning to take to support the future work of the Church of England. (155329)
The Church Commissioners seek to use their funds to increase spiritual and numerical growth in the Church, reshaping and reimagining its ministry for the next century and focusing resources on areas of the country with the greatest need and opportunity.
In the few days before the Church celebrates its birthday, we have seen the recent figures showing the very encouraging signs of more baptisms, more thanksgivings for childbirth, more christenings, more young people and children going to church, and many dioceses with greater attendance numbers. Will the Church Commissioners consider trying to support every parish in reaching out once a year to every household, irrespective of its faith, to welcome it to its local Church of England parish church?
My right hon. Friend makes an extremely good point that I will certainly convey to the Archbishop of Canterbury and others. The new Archbishop of Canterbury has made it clear that he sees one of the main purposes of his ministry as encouraging the mission and growth of the Church of England in every part of the country. As Archbishop Temple once pointed out, the Church of England is an organisation that exists for everyone other than itself. It therefore has a particularly important mission in constituencies such as that of my right hon. Friend, who makes an extremely good suggestion.