HC Deb 26 March 1953 vol 513 cc844-5

3.50 p.m.

Sir John Crowder (Second Church Estates Commissioner)

I beg to move, That the Diocesan Stipends Funds Measure, 1953, passed by the National Assembly of the Church of England, be presented to Her Majesty for Her Royal Assent in the form in which the said Measure was laid before Parliament. This is a simple Measure to provide for the proper use of diocesan stipends funds and to set up a suitable system of accountancy. A diocesan stipends fund has already been established for every diocese under the Reorganisation Areas Measure, 1944, and the Pastoral Reorganisation Measure, 1949. Moneys are required to be paid into these funds under schemes and orders arising from these Measures; and from donations, legacies and other contributions received for the purpose.

Upon the funds there are charges pursuant to such schemes and orders, sometimes of a capital nature, such as the building of a new parsonage house, but more generally of an income nature; namely, for stipends of incumbents and curates. Subject to any such charges, the general purpose of the funds, in the words of the existing Measures is: such purpose connected with the cure of souls within the diocese as the bishop with the concurrence of the diocesan board of finance may from time to time direct. The Church Commissioners hold the funds as holding trustees and are very large contributors to them.

The existing purpose of the Measures to which I have referred is very much wider in scope than was intended when the original Measures were passed. The real purpose of the funds, after meeting certain prior charges, is to provide or augment the stipends of incumbents, curates and others, such as lay readers, actually engaged in the cure of souls. This new Measure accordingly restricts the purpose for which these funds may be used.

The rest of the Measure—Clauses 1 and 2—deals almost wholly with matters of accountancy, such as the proper method of discriminating between capital and income and the keeping of separate accounts for each, and so on. The Measure is uncontroversial. It passed the Church Assembly without a division at any stage, and I trust that the House will find it acceptable.

Mr. Tom Driberg (Maldon)

I beg to second the Motion.

Question put, and agreed to.