Second Church Estates Commissioner appointed

21 May 2015

PA

In conversation: Caroline Spelman and David Cameron chat to workers at Birmingham Airport in April 2014   

In conversation: Caroline Spelman and David Cameron chat to workers at Birmingham Airport in April 2014   

THE new Second Church Estates Commissioner is Caroline Spelman MP, who succeeds Sir Tony Baldry.

Ms Spelman, the Conservative MP for Meriden since 1997, is a longstanding member of the Christians in Parliament all-party group, and joined the Ecclesiastical Committee last year.

Parliamentary posts that she has held in opposition and government, include Shadow Secretary of State for International Development, Shadow Minister for Women, and Chairman of the Conservative Party. She has sat on parliamentary committees including the Joint Committee on the Draft Modern Slavery Bill. She was also Secretary of State for Environment for two years from 2010 until 2012.

"I am honoured to be asked to undertake this role as the Church is important for the future of our country and I want to help it navigate the challenges of the modern world with the support of our parliamentarians," she said on Thursday.            

As Second Commissioner, she will act as a link between the Government, Parliament, and Church of England. In the House of Commons, she will be responsible for answering questions from MPs about C of E matters and steering church legislation. She becomes an ex-officio member of the General Synod and member of the Church Commissioners' Board of Governors.

"We are delighted with the appointment," the Secretary to the Church Commissioners, Andrew Brown, said. "Caroline has a strong commitment to the Church and its mission to local communities."

Ms Spelman is Vice Chair of Tearfund and Patron of Welcome, a drug and alcohol rehabilitation charity. A confirmed member of the Church of England, she worships at Knowle Parish Church in her constituency, and chairs the Parliamentary Choir.

In March 2014, she initiated a House of Commons debate on the contribution of women to ordained ministry in the Church of England (News, 28 March, 2014).

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