HC Deb 05 March 1979 vol 963 cc399-400W
Mr. Michael Latham

asked the hon. Member for Kingswood, as representing the Church Commissioners, whether he will make a statement on the achievements to date of the Endowment and Glebe Measure; and what resources have become available for diocesan purposes since the measure became law.

Mr. Terry Walker

The main provisions of the Endowments and Glebe Measure took effect on 1 April 1978, and have been in operation for less than one year. In the circumstances, it is too soon to be able to make a general assessment of the achievements of the measure, although the Commissioners remain satisfied that in the years ahead the measure will make an important contribution towards the creation of a more equitable system of remuneration for the clergy.

Perhaps the most significant provision of the measure was the transfer of glebe into diocesan ownership. The full survey of glebe required by the measure has shown for the first time the full potential of this historic Church asset. It has revealed that there are 108,000 acres of agricultural land yielding some £1.4 million in rent as well as urban property yielding a further £0.5 million. It is already clear that the expert management committees appointed in each diocese under the measure will quickly and substantially increase the income from this asset from its current unrealistically low level and this increased income will be available to dioceses for clergy stipends.

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