§ MR. CAVENDISH BENTINCK (Whitehaven)
I beg to ask the hon. Member for Penrith (Mr. J. W. Lowther), as a Charity Commissioner, whether the Charity Commissioners have refused to contribute to the necessary repairs of the Church of St. George, Botolph Lane, in the City of London, which was built by Sir Christopher Wren, for the reason that it is not of any special architectural interest or value; and whether the Charity Commissioners, before coming to this decision, obtained any Report upon the Church from any architectural authority; and, if so, whether they will lay the Report upon the Table, or state upon whose opinion they have acted?
MR. J. W. LOWTHER (Cumberland, Penrith)
The central scheme framed by the Charity Commissioners under the City of London Parochial Charities Act provides the annual sum of £41 for the maintenance and repairs of the fabric of the Church of St. George, Botolph Lane, besides an annual sum of £117 for the ordinary cleaning of the church and the maintenance of public worship. In view of the fact that the church is not of primary architectural interest, and of the general condition of the parish, and that the Commissioners are advised that a sum of £2,700 would be required for the restoration of the church, they did not feel justified in dealing with it specially under Section 14 of the Act. The Commissioners were advised by their architect, Mr. Ewan Christian, but they accept full responsibility for their action in the matter, and are therefore not prepared to lay his Report upon the Table, but if the right hon. Gentleman will call at the office of the Charity Commissioners the Report will be open to his inspection.