HC Deb 18 July 1988 vol 137 cc781-2
20. Mr. John Marshall

To ask the right hon. Member for Selby, as representing the Church Commissioners, if he will list the publications for which the Church Commissioners are responsible.

The Second Church Estates Commissioner, Representing Church Commissioners (Mr. Michael Alison)

The commissioners' publications include their annual report and accounts, their report as the central stipends authority and, in partnership with the Central Board of Finance, "Crockford's Directory", and a three-yearly report on the Church's finances. The commissioners also publish a variety of material for information on such matters as parochial fees, the parochial expenses of the clergy and other matters for which they have some responsibility.

Mr. Marshall

I thank my right hon. Friend for his courteous reply. In considering the publications programme, will the Church Commissioners bear in mind the yearning of the British people for a moral lead? When they consider whether to publish the works of the Bishop of Durham, will they bear in mind that many of us would be reluctant to see my right hon. Friend charged with the once capital crime of heresy?

Mr. Alison

I note carefully what my hon. Friend says. The utterances of the Bishop of Durham are as likely to find themselves recorded in the columns of Hansard as in any Church Commissioners' report. The utterances, teachings and moral exhortations of bishops and other clergy occur regularly at parish and diocesan level, where they are most valued and most effective.

Mr. Campbell-Savours

Is it true that sentences of consecration must be issued on cemetary land and that such sentences were issued on the three cemetaries sold by Westminster city council? Does the right hon. Gentleman accept that those sentences of consecration prevent the sale of such land to property speculators? Will he confirm that the consistory court of the diocese—

Mr. Speaker

Order. The question must be related to publications.

Mr. Campbell-Savours

Will the right hon. Gentleman instigate an inquiry into these matters?

Mr. Alison

The hon. Gentleman has asked me a question which, although profoundly relevant to many aspects of life and death, is outside my remit.