Columba Declaration

Church Commissioners – in the House of Commons on 10th March 2022.

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Photo of Andrew Bowie Andrew Bowie Conservative, West Aberdeenshire and Kincardine

To ask the hon. Member for South West Bedfordshire, representing the Church Commissioners, what joint projects have resulted from the Columba Declaration between the Church of England and Church of Scotland.

Photo of Andrew Selous Andrew Selous The Second Church Estates Commissioner, The Second Church Estates Commissioner

The Columba Declaration has led to regular contact between the Churches, and the strengthening of both in serving their nations by co-operating on issues of public policy and promoting Christian life. One example of that is the Thy Kingdom Come partnership for nationwide prayer, adopted in November 2018. In Cumbria the Churches work together to form mission communities made up of all the churches in a locality.

Photo of Andrew Bowie Andrew Bowie Conservative, West Aberdeenshire and Kincardine

The Columba Declaration set out where the Churches of England and Scotland could allow close and growing co-operation in a multitude of areas, including where mutually supported work between the Church of England’s Mission and Public Affairs, and the Church of Scotland’s Church and Society Council, could work to support refugees. In light of what is happening in Ukraine, has there been any discussion or co-operation about that, under the terms of the Columba Declaration, meaning that the two Churches might pool resources and effort to support refugees who are fleeing that terrible situation in Ukraine?

Photo of Andrew Selous Andrew Selous The Second Church Estates Commissioner, The Second Church Estates Commissioner

I am grateful for my hon. Friend’s question, and I reassure him that the two Churches have already been in touch with each other about supporting Ukrainian refugees. They will continue to share experience, and consider carefully whether joint action may be more effective as the situation develops.