Evidence Submitted by the Church Society
Church Society Trust is an independent patronage
trust established just over a century ago. The Trust is keen to
promote private patronage.
Private Patronage has been one feature of the
Church of England which has kept it from congregationalism (too
much dependence on the local church) and centralism (too much
power in the hands of Bishops). We believe that this balance is
important and would wish this to be reflected in the decision
made regarding the patronage of the Lord Chancellor.
We note that three options have been considered
however we would ask that serious consideration be given to further
Placing the Lord Chancellor's patronage with
another minister or with the Crown does not lose anything from
the present situation but it also does not gain anything.
Giving the patronage to Bishops is to be avoided
because it will contribute to the growing and regrettable centralising
tendency in the Church of England.
There are many benefits of independent patronage
not just in terms of appointment but in fostering broader links
and in the expertise and support patrons can bring in many other
We would ask that in each case the individual
Parish be given the choice as to what should happen to their patronage.
It would be possible for patronage to pass to
the Parochial Church Council but in our experience this does not
Therefore we suggest three options that might
be given to parishes.
To pass the patronage to the Diocesan Board of Patronage.
This is a reasonable option but does not bring most of the benefits
of independent patronage.
To pass the patronage to an independent patronage
body, of which there are many.
To create a patronage board for the parish, usually
of about five members with at least some not being members of
the parish concerned.
We trust that these observations will prove
Church Society Trust
8 January 2004