Redundant Churches

Oral Answers to Questions — Church Commissioners – in the House of Commons at 2:30 pm on 26 March 2001.

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Photo of Owen Paterson Owen Paterson Opposition Whip (Commons) 2:30, 26 March 2001

If he will make a statement on the use of redundant churches.

Photo of Stuart Bell Stuart Bell Second Church Estates Commissioner

The procedure for settling the future of redundant Church of England churches gives priority to any diocese seeking and achieving suitable alternative uses. Use by another Christian body or for wider community purposes is generally regarded as the most suitable use for former churches.

Photo of Owen Paterson Owen Paterson Opposition Whip (Commons)

What powers does a bishop have to overrule a parochial church council that has closed a church and done nothing with it even though the congregation wants to reopen it?

Photo of Stuart Bell Stuart Bell Second Church Estates Commissioner

I am grateful to the hon. Gentleman for referring to the relationship between a parish council and a bishop as regards church closures. If he has a particular church in mind and will write to me, I will be very glad to answer his questions.