HC Deb 22 November 1999 vol 339 cc343-4
35. Mr. Peter Luff (Mid-Worcestershire)

If he will make a statement on the financial implications of the churchwardens Measure. [9900]

Mr. Stuart Bell (Second Church Estates Commissioner, representing the Church Commissioners)

In response to comments by the Ecclesiastical Committee, the General Synod has made a number of amendments to the power in the Measure to suspend a churchwarden, including a new appeal provision. The only situation where the Measure might have measurable financial implications would be where there was such an appeal. That would be likely to arise only rarely, and I am sure that all those involved would be concerned to keep the expenses to a reasonable minimum.

Mr. Luff

I am sure that many of the parochial church councils that have written to me recently to express their concern about the Measure will be encouraged by that response. Will the hon. Gentleman give an indication of the progress that this Measure will make through the House, to enable parochial church councils to shape their representations to Members on this subject?

Mr. Bell

I am glad to be of assistance to the hon. Gentleman. The Measure, with the amendments made by the General Synod, has been re-submitted to the Ecclesiastical Committee, which will consider it further as soon as possible. From there, we shall voyage on to the Floor of the House.