The Church is hugely appreciative of the work of the archbishops’ anti-racism taskforce. It has already committed to implementing 34 of the taskforce’s 39 recommendations and is keeping the other five under review.
The Second Church Estates Commissioner appreciates, as I do, the importance of cultural change in the Church. Clergy from diverse backgrounds must be supported and given equal opportunities, from new ordinands settling in to those moving towards more senior roles. What powers will the new commission led by Lord Boateng have to hold the Church to account as it enters the implementation stage?
As the hon. Lady says, in the autumn a new racial justice commission will start work under the chairmanship of Lord Boateng and with Lord Wei as a member. I am delighted to say that we have the highest number of recommendations for stipendiary ordained ministry training in a generation: almost 600, of which 10.9% are from minority ethnic backgrounds—a 2% increase on the previous year. The Church is making gradual but steady progress to make sure that its clergy look like the nation it serves, and the racial justice commission will certainly hold the Church to account on future progress.
I will now suspend the House for three minutes to enable the necessary arrangements to be made for the next business.