Ecclesiastical Committee Contents



1. The Legislative Committee of the General Synod, to which a Measure entitled the Church of England (Miscellaneous Provisions) Measure ("the Measure") has been referred, has the honour to submit the Measure to the Ecclesiastical Committee with these Comments and Explanations.

2. This Measure is the tenth in a series of Miscellaneous Provisions Measures dealing with uncontroversial matters that do not merit freestanding legislation.


3. Clause 1 and Schedule 1 amend the New Parishes Measure 1943.

4. Under section 13 of the 1943 Measure the Church Commissioners have power to acquire land for various church purposes, which subsequently vests under section 16 in either the incumbent or the diocesan authority on trust for the parochial church council. The Commissioners are also required by section 17 of the 1943 Measure to consent to disposals of land acquired under it or under earlier legislation which is no longer required for the purpose for which it was acquired.

5. The Report of the Review of the Dioceses Pastoral and related Measures recommended in 2004 that the Commissioners' role in the acquisition of property under the 1943 Measure should be devolved to the dioceses on the ground that the work in connection with it could be more appropriately carried out at diocesan level rather than at the centre, save in exceptional circumstances (e.g. where the parties were connected).

6. Paragraph 2 of Schedule 1 accordingly passes the Commissioners' power to acquire property for the purposes set out in section 13(1) of the 1943 Measure to the diocesan board of finance ('DBF') for the diocese in which the property is situated and inserts a new requirement that the consent of the Commissioners to the transaction will be required if the acquisition is a purchase and the seller is a 'connected person' (as defined) or if the person or body in whom the property is to vest under section 16 has not obtained a surveyor's report confirming that the terms on which the acquisition is to proceed are the best that can reasonably be obtained.

7. Paragraph 3 replaces the Commissioners with the DBF as the recipient of gifts or grants of land for sites of churches from corporations and other bodies referred to in section 14 of the 1943 Measure.

8. Paragraphs 4 and 5 make consequential amendments to sections 15 and 16 respectively.

9. Paragraph 6 removes the requirement to obtain the Commissioners' consent to a disposal of land no longer required for the purpose for which it was acquired, save where the person or body acquiring the land is a connected person or the transaction is not being carried out in accordance with a surveyor's report confirming that the terms on which the disposal is to proceed are the best that can reasonably be obtained.

10. Paragraph 7 substitutes references to the Commissioners for references to the DBF in section 20, which contains provisions as to land acquired for burials.

11. Paragraphs 8, 9 and 10 contain consequential amendments and repeals.

12. Clause 2 amends section 6(3B)(a) of the Church Commissioners Measure 1947 to update a cross-reference which is now out of date following the amendment of section 6(3B)(d) by section 2 of the Church of England (Miscellaneous Provisions) Measure 2005 ('the 2005 MPM').

13. Clause 3 amends the Church Funds Investment Measure 1958 to reflect the dissolution of the Central Board of Finance by deleting from the types of funds which may be invested under the 1958 Measure funds held by the Central Board of Finance as part of its corporate funds or as trustee.

14. Clause 4 amends the Clergy Pensions Measure 1961 by giving the Church of England Pensions Board an express power to constitute committees and delegate functions to them.

15. Clause 5 amends section 2 of the Ecclesiastical Jurisdiction Measure 1963.

16. Subsection (1)(a) amends the 1963 Measure to insert a word inadvertently removed when it was amended by the Church of England (Miscellaneous Provisions) Measure 2006 ('the 2006 MPM').

17. Subsections (1)(b) and (c) and (2) introduce greater consistency in the provisions in the 1963 Measure relating to diocesan chancellors' retirement ages, and give the diocesan bishop power to continue a chancellor in office beyond the statutory retirement age of 70 for up to one further year where this is considered to be in the interests of the diocese.

18. Clause 6 amends sections 20 and 23 of the Endowments and Glebe Measure 1976. The need for these amendments results from changes made by the Church of England (Miscellaneous Provisions) Measure 2005 which reduce the Church Commissioners' involvement in diocesan glebe transactions to those set out in Schedule 3 to the 1976 Measure.

19. Clause 7 amends section 69 of the Pastoral Measure 1983 to provide that, where the Privy Council's decision is awaited on an appeal against a decision of the Church Commissioners on a representation made in connection with a draft pastoral scheme, the three-year maximum period for restricting presentation to a benefice referred to in subsections (1) and (3) will extend up to and including the date of delivery of the Privy Council's decision.

20. Clause 8 amends Part 1 of Schedule 1 to the National Institutions Measure 1998 (which provides for the constitution and membership of the Archbishops' Council) by inserting a new paragraph 4A. Sub-paragraph (1) provides that elected members of the Archbishops' Council are to be elected in accordance with the Standing Orders of the General Synod. Sub-paragraph (2) provides that, where an elected member of the Council ceases to be a member of the Synodical House which elected him or her, he or she will automatically cease to be a member of the Council; this is, however, subject to sub-paragraph (3), which provides that an elected member of the Council does not cease to be a member of the Council simply as a result of the dissolution of the Synod.

21. Clause 9 provides that, where gifts are expressed as gifts to or for the benefit of 'the Church of England' (or in similar terms lacking clarity as to the donor's wishes), they will take effect as gifts to the Archbishops' Council. Because there is no corporate body called 'the Church of England', such gifts must currently be dealt with by way of directions under the Royal Sign Manual or schemes made by the court or the Charity Commission. The new provision is intended to avoid the need for such directions or schemes in future. Any gifts covered by it will, of course, remain subject to any trusts or other conditions that the donor imposes in the document under which the gift is made.

22. Clause 10 contains various provisions relating to cathedrals.

23. Clause 10(1) is declaratory of the existing law in relation to the status of cathedrals and is included for the avoidance of doubt. Ecclesiastical corporations - which include cathedrals - fall outside the definition of 'charity' employed in the Charities Act 1993, which means that they are not subject to the jurisdiction of the Charity Commission. A number of legislative provisions have been made in relation to cathedrals in recent years and it is considered desirable to make clear that the status of cathedrals as ecclesiastical corporations outside the jurisdiction of the Charity Commission remains unchanged.

24. Clause 10(2) relates to Christ Church Cathedral, Oxford. As (uniquely) a joint ecclesiastical-academic foundation, Christ Church is not covered by the provisions of the Cathedrals Measure 1999. The detailed provisions in clause 10(2) were therefore drafted in consultation with Christ Church to introduce changes in the spirit of those affecting all other cathedrals which took effect following the coming into force of the 1999 Measure. Provision is made, amongst other things, to increase the number of non-residentiary canons, to provide for the appointment of lay and ecumenical canons and in respect of the tenure, rights and duties of such canons, as well as for the creation of a college of canons with specified functions.

25. Clause 10(3) amends the Care of Cathedrals Measure 1990 to bring proposals for works which would materially affect human remains in cathedral precincts within the controls contained in that Measure. Because cathedrals are not subject to the faculty jurisdiction, control over human remains in cathedral precincts has up to now been left to secular authorities. The view of the Archbishops' Council's Cathedral and Church Buildings Division and of the Cathedral Fabric Commission, however, is that such works should be brought within ecclesiastical control. If the proposed new provisions are enacted, the intention is to ask the Ministry of Justice to amend the secular legislation, disapplying it in all cases where ecclesiastical controls apply, thus avoiding 'dual control'. (By way of further explanation, relevant paragraphs from the Revision Committee's report dealing with Clause 10(3) are set out in the Appendix.)

26. Clause 11 amends the Commons Act 2006 to substitute the relevant DBF for the Church Commissioners as the body responsible for particular functions or as fulfilling particular roles under that Act, in line with changes made by the Church of England (Miscellaneous Provisions) Measure 2006.

27. Lastly, Clause 12 and Schedule 2 make a number of amendments and repeals consequential upon other changes made in the draft Measure, in particular to the definitions of 'connected person' and 'qualified surveyor' in the Parsonages Measure 1938; and Clause 13 deals with citation, commencement and extent.


28. The draft Measure was given First Consideration by the Synod in February 2008 and stood automatically committed to a Revision Committee. The Revision Committee met once and considered one amendment proposed by a member of the Synod and various others proposed by the Steering Committee. As a result, a number of amendments were agreed to the draft Measure, which was then returned to the Synod for Revision in July 2008, at which stage no further amendments were moved and the draft Measure was committed to the Steering Committee in respect of its final drafting.

29. The Final Drafting and Final Approval stages both took place at the February 2009 group of sessions of the Synod. At Final Drafting no special amendments were moved by the Steering Committee and the Synod approved a number of drafting amendments. The Measure was then given Final Approval on a division by Houses. The voting figures were as follows:

In favour Against

30. No abstentions were recorded in the House of Bishops, none in the House of Clergy and 1 in the House of Laity.


31. The Legislative Committee invites the Ecclesiastical Committee to issue a favourable report on the Measure. In the event of the Ecclesiastical Committee requiring any further information or explanation, the Legislative Committee stands ready to provide this.

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