Income

Oral Answers to Questions — Church Commissioners – in the House of Commons at 12:00 am on 23rd May 1988.

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Photo of Mr John Marshall Mr John Marshall , Hendon South 12:00 am, 23rd May 1988

To ask the right hon. Member for Selby, as representing the Church Commissioners, if he will make a statement about the trends in the commissioners' income during the past five years.

Photo of Mr Tony Banks Mr Tony Banks , Newham North West

To ask the right hon. Member for Selby, as representing the Church Commissioners, what have been the trends in the Church Commissioners' income over the past 12 months.

Photo of Mr Michael Alison Mr Michael Alison , Selby

The commissioners' investment income has risen from £69·5 million in 1982 to an estimated £116·9 million in 1987, an increase of 68 per cent., compared with inflation of 25 per cent. over the same period. In the 12 months to December 1987 their income rose by about 17 per cent.

Photo of Mr John Marshall Mr John Marshall , Hendon South

Does my right hon. Friend agree that, welcome as those trends are, they would have been even better if certain Church leaders had given their flock sound spiritual leadership rather than indulging in partisan politics?

Photo of Mr Michael Alison Mr Michael Alison , Selby

My hon. Friend will recall that in her recent address to the General Assembly of the Church of Scotland my right hon. Friend the Prime Minister said: Christians will very often genuinely disagree"— about aspects of secular politics— though it is a mark of Christian manners that they will do so with courtesy and mutual respect.

Photo of Mr Tony Banks Mr Tony Banks , Newham North West

May I tell the right hon. Member—[HON. MEMBERS: "No. Question."] Until I heard the Prime Minister give her sermon in Scotland on Saturday I had thought that the Budget was written by St. Nigel, not St. Paul. As the Prime Minister is fond of quoting St. Paul, why did she not use the part of St. Paul's first letter to Timothy, which says that our leaders should be sober, temperate and not greedy of filthy lucre"? Why did she miss that?

Photo of Mr Michael Alison Mr Michael Alison , Selby

I am glad that the hon. Gentleman has taken to quoting the Scriptures. We look forward to more of that.

Photo of Mr Tony Banks Mr Tony Banks , Newham North West

I am a very saintly person.

Photo of Mr Michael Alison Mr Michael Alison , Selby

If the hon. Gentleman wants to take the letter of the law, or the letter of the word, my right hon. Friend has never hitherto—as far as I am aware—been guilty of insobriety, and she certainly was not when she adressed the General Assembly of the Church of Scotland.