Church of England (Miscellaneous Provisions)

Part of the debate – in the House of Commons at 10:02 pm on 2nd March 1992.

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Photo of Mr Michael Alison Mr Michael Alison , Selby 10:02 pm, 2nd March 1992

I beg to move, That the Church of England (Miscellaneous Provisions) Measure, passed by the General Synod of the Church of England, be presented to Her Majesty for Her Royal Assent in the form in which the said Measure was laid before Parliament. As its short title suggests, the Measure contains provisions on a wide range of matters, most of which are neither controversial nor exciting but will be extremely useful in their own ways. I do not want to detain the House by attempting to deal with all of them, but perhaps I may mention one or two. Schedule 1, for example, deals with parochial registers and records, some of which are very ancient. Quite apart from their importance to the Church, the documents are of great interest to historians and genealogists, so it is important that they should be properly preserved and cared for. The amendment in schedule I will help to ensure that.

On a completely different subject, clauses 2 and 3 will help to ensure that the rector or vicar of a parish will normally be responsible, if requested, for the funerals of his own parishioners, even if their funerals are to be held in a cemetery or a crematorium which lies outside his own parish boundaries. They will also help ecclesiastical law to deal more adequately with the ever more widespread practice of cremation.