HC Deb 11 December 1995 vol 268 c501W
38. Mr. Jenkin

To ask the right hon. Member for Selby, representing the Church Commissioners, what representations the Church Commissioners will be making to Lambeth palace concerning the report of the Turnbull commission on the future of the Church of England. [3325]

Mr. Alison

The commissioners welcome the aim of improving the machinery of the Church at national level in support of the ministry and mission to the whole nation and look forward to taking a constructive part in the debate on the Turnbull report and its vision.

The board of governors has identified three key principles which need to be safeguarded in the planning and implementation of the proposed structures. These are:

  1. (i) the important Church/state link, which is exemplified in the commissioners' constitution, in recognition that the Church of England is the established Church;
  2. (ii) the impartiality which the commissioners deliver in the discharge of many of their responsibilities, especially those under the Pastoral Measure 1983; and
  3. (iii) the need within the timetable for adequate consultation and detailed planning to ensure that any change is right for the Church and delivers a national service as good as, or better than, that provided now.

Arising from these principles are a number of important matters which will need to be addressed including the protection and handling of the commissioners' charitable responsibilities and the interplay between asset management and distribution, for example, the balance between their pensions liabilities and the support of the active ministry.

These concerns have been transmitted to the archbishops orally and in writing. In addition, the commissioners are represented on the archbishops' advisory group which is following up the Turnbull report.

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