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Church Commissioners

Volume 690: debated on Thursday 4 March 2021

The hon. Member for South West Bedfordshire, representing the Church Commissioners, was asked—

Landholdings: Public Transparency

The Church Commissioners have been working through the process of registering their land holdings with the Land Registry, which can be searched publicly. In addition, on page 81 of the Commissioners’ annual report there is a list of the 20 largest real estate holdings.

When I met the Commissioners, I was told that they did not have comprehensive digital maps of their lands that they could publish. However, a recent report from the Archbishop of Canterbury recommended that the Church map all of its land holdings by using the Good Steward Mapping Tool. I note that its website features digital maps of the Church Commissioners’ lands. In the interests of transparency, will the Commissioner make those maps public?

As part of the work of the Archbishop’s housing commission, the Church has indeed commissioned a draft map of the land holdings of the Commissioners, dioceses and parishes, to improve planning and joined-up working between all parts of the Church. This is work in progress, which is currently being trialled by a number of dioceses.