"Faith in the City"

Oral Answers to Questions — Church Commissioners – in the House of Commons at 12:00 am on 25th April 1988.

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Photo of Mr Harry Greenway Mr Harry Greenway , Ealing North 12:00 am, 25th April 1988

To ask the right hon. Member for Selby, as representing the Church Commissioners, how much will be spent by the Church Commissioners on the Synod project related to "Faith in the City"; what proportion of the total expenditure this represents; to what areas of lay and spiritual activity the money will be allocated; and if he will make a statement.

Photo of Mr Michael Alison Mr Michael Alison , Selby

The Measure enabling the Church Commissioners to make grants to the Church urban fund was approved by this House on 12 April and will be considered in another place tomorrow. If the Measure receives Royal Assent, the Commissioners will make a grant of £1 million from their surplus income in 1987 and will consider repeating that in 1988 and subsequent years —£1 million represents 0·6 per cent. of their expenditure in 1987. The money will be used by the trustees of the fund to support the Church's work in urban priority areas.

Photo of Mr Harry Greenway Mr Harry Greenway , Ealing North

Is my right hon. Friend aware of the need for a massive Church effort in rural areas, where vicars sometimes have to look after as many as 10 or even 15 parishes on their own? They feel that their efforts and their parishes are funding the "Faith in the City" effort. Will my right hon. Friend do all that he can to ensure that a special effort is made to get more clergy into the countryside as well as into the towns, and that rural clergymen are given their share of concern?

Photo of Mr Michael Alison Mr Michael Alison , Selby

I assure my hon. Friend that the Church Commissioners do. indeed, contribute to other deprived areas, including rural deprived areas, through other sources and by other means than contributions to the Church urban fund. That substantial contribution to other areas, including rural areas, will continue.