THE Queen has approved the nomination of Andrew Selous MP as the Second Church Estates Commissioner, succeeding Dame Caroline Spelman, who stepped down in December.
Mr Selous, a Conservative, has represented his South Bedfordshire constituency since 2001. At the last election, in December 2019, he increased his majority by more than 4000 to 18,583.
Educated at Eton, he served in the military before working in insurance. An active member of the Conservative Christian Fellowship throughout his time in Parliament, he also served as Parliamentary Private Secretary to Iain Duncan Smith during his time as Secretary of State for Work and Pensions.
Mr Selous has cited his faith as a reason for voting against legislation concerning same-sex marriage. He chairs the all-party parliamentary group Strengthening Couple Relationships which promotes marriage.
The website that monitors the voting records of MPs, They Work For You, shows that he has voted against LGBT rights, in favour of reducing welfare benefits for disabled people, and in favour of ending financial support for young people in education.
The Second Church Estates Commissioner acts as a link between the Church of England and Parliament, answering MPs’ questions about church affairs, and representing any church concerns.
The Archbishop of Canterbury has welcomed the appointment. “Andrew’s extensive parliamentary experience will help build and maintain fruitful relationships with MPs as the Church carries out its mission to serve the common good.
“I look forward to working with Andrew, and pray for God’s blessing and guidance as he prepares for these responsibilities. I also pray with gratitude for Dame Caroline Spelman, whose work as Second Church Estates Commissioner was greatly valued.”
Loretta Minghella, First Church Estates Commissioner, said that Mr Selous brought to the position “the experience of an impressive and comprehensive range of posts during his parliamentary career. This will be invaluable as the Church Commissioners continue to support the mission of the Church and the local communities it serves.”
Mr Selous said that he was “delighted and honoured” to take the post. “I have a strong belief in the role the Church plays in society, making a unique contribution to our national life.”
He attends the church of St Mary’s, Studham, a village church near Dunstable, Bedfordshire, and also worships with his family at the Vineyard Church, St Albans.