Easter

Department for Business, Innovation and Skills written question – answered on 4th February 2016.

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Photo of Greg Knight Greg Knight Conservative, East Yorkshire

To ask the Secretary of State for Business, Innovation and Skills, what the implications are for the Government's policy of bringing into force provisions of the Easter Act 1928 to fix a date for Easter of recent comments by the Archbishop of Canterbury; and if he will make a statement.

Photo of Nicholas Boles Nicholas Boles The Minister for Universities and Science, Minister of State (Department for Business, Innovation and Skills) (Jointly with the Department for Education)

I understand that the Archbishop of Canterbury has recently indicated that he is working with other Christian churches to agree on a fixed date for Easter. At present, Easter occurs on the first Sunday after the first ecclesiastical full moon following the spring equinox. The suggestion is that Easter be fixed in the second or third Sunday in April. The Easter Act 1928, which remains on the Statute Book, would set the date for Easter to fall on the Sunday that follows the second Saturday in April (i.e. between 9 and 15 April). The Act has not been brought into force. To so would require an Order in Council, with the approval of both Houses of Parliament. The Act also requires that, before the Order is made, “regard shall be had to any opinion officially expressed by any Church or other Christian Body." If the Christian churches were to agree on moving to a fixed date for Easter then the Government would consider, depending on what date is agreed, whether to bring into force the Easter Act 1928 or to make such other legislative provision as may be needed. However, there is no indication yet whether or when a date will be agreed or what that date would be.

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