HL Deb 18 February 1964 vol 255 cc759-60

2.48 p.m.


My Lords, I beg to move the Motion which stands in my name on the Order Paper. I do not think that it will be necessary to detain your Lordships for any great length of time. The Church Assembly has recently embarked upon a programme of modernisation and improvement of the theological colleges and establishments for the training of women in the pastoral work of the Church. The greater part of the cost will be provided by grants made to the colleges by the Church Assembly. The money is to be raised by the Central Board of Finance by loans, the servicing of which will be a charge on the Church Assembly Budget. The Church Commissioners, who are at present lending considerable sums of money to the Central Board of Finance for similar capital expenditure on the Church training colleges for teachers, are willing either to make further loans for the purpose of theological colleges or to guarantee borrowing from other sources up to a limit of £1 million, if they are given the necessary statutory authority. The object of the Measure is to provide that authority. Money so borrowed will be repaid over a period of years and interest will be payable at current rates. Therefore, there is no question of diminishing the income of the Commissioners which would otherwise be devoted to the maintenance of the clergy.

I should like to add a personal word. It so happens that I have spent a great deal of my own ministry in theological colleges, and I know that until the most recent years the whole of the provision of theological colleges has been left to private enterprise. This Measure is really part of a rather belated conscience on the part of the Church that the Church as a whole should undertake some responsibility for the provision of these institutions. The Measure met with no opposition in the Church Assembly, and I trust that your Lordships will find no difficulty in passing the necessary Resolution. I beg to move.

Moved, That in accordance with the Church of England Assembly (Powers) Act 1919 this House do direct that the Church Commissioners (Loans for Theological Colleges and Training Houses) Measure 1964 be presented to Her Majesty for the Royal Assent.—(Lord Bishop of Leicester.)

On Question, Motion agreed to, and ordered accordingly.