§ Mr. Wareing
asked the Secretary of State for the Environment if he will make a statement on his recent discussions with the Archbishop of Canterbury and other leaders of the Church of England on the subject of the report of the Archbishop's commission "Faith in the City"; and what further plans he has for future meetings on the subject.
§ Mr. Kenneth Baker
I met the Archbishop of Canterbury on 28 January to discuss the report of his commission on urban priority areas — "Faith in the City". I welcomed the commission's report as a constructive analysis of the challenges facing Church and state in urban areas. We did not have a detailed discussion of all the many recommendations in the report, but agreed that, while there might be differences on some parts of the analysis and some of the remedies, there was close understanding on many of the main issues. In particular, we agreed that we must find ways to involve the people living in the cities in creating the sorts of communities and environments in the areas in which they want to live and work. I offered the assistance of my Department in following up the work of the commission in identifying areas suitable for neighbourhood action, and in exploring the potential for joint action through Government initiatives and the proposed Church urban fund.