HC Deb 07 February 1983 vol 36 c624
21. Mr. Murphy

asked the hon. Member for Wokingham, as representing the Church Commissioners, what guidelines are provided for the erection of new church buildings.

Sir William van Straubenzee

In 1975 the Council for the Care of Churches published a document entitled "Procedure for new Church Buildings: Guidelines". I am sending my hon. Friend a copy.

Mr. Murphy

I should like to thank my hon. Friend, as I am sure that the reply will be most helpful. Will he say whether it is the practice of the Church Commissioners to take soundings as to the use of new church buildings for a wider local community use?

Sir William van Straubenzee

It is not generally understood that the commissioners become involved only if it is proposed to erect a consecrated building. I am sorry that that is such a narrow point, but it is one I have to make. I am perfectly certain, however, that in modern days both the commissioners and, in cases where they are not involved, other Church authorities, would today always have regard to the wider, more general use of a church building than purely for public worship.