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(a) at a meeting which is specially convened for the purpose of deciding the resolution with notice of the object, and(b) on or before 31 December 2008 or such later date as the Secretary of State may by order provide.(a) cease operating the mayor and council manager executive, and(b) start operating the mayor and cabinet executive.(a) the mayor does not cease to hold office, and(b) his term of office is not affected,by virtue of the local authority ceasing to operate the mayor and council manager executive. (a) apply to the first election of the mayor of the mayor and cabinet executive as if it were the election of the mayor of the mayor and council manager executive, and(b) subject to any order under Part 3, apply in the same way to subsequent elections of the mayor of the mayor and cabinet executive.(a) the last day of the period of 28 days that begins with the day when the referendum is held;(b) 31 December 2008, or such later date as the Secretary of State may by order provide.(a) cease operating the mayor and council leader executive, and(b) start operating the leader and cabinet executive (England).

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Failure to change form of executive: automatic change(a) section 29(2)(a);(b) section 29(2)(b)(ii) to (v).Interpretation(a) starts when section 62(6) comes into force, and(b) ends with the third day after the relevant election day.Part 3Other transitional provision(a) supplementing or giving full effect to Part 3 of this Act; or(b) making provision consequential on the passing of Part 3 of this Act.(a) provision as to the dates on which and years in which relevant elections may or must be held;(b) provision as to the intervals between relevant elections;(c) provision as to the term of office of any member of any form of executive;(d) provision as to when sections 33A to 33D of the LGA 2000 are to begin to apply in relation to a local authority;

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(e) provision as to when section 39(6) and (7) of the LGA 2000 are to begin to apply in relation to a local authority.(a) an election for the return of an elected mayor;(b) the election by a local authority of the executive leader of a leader and cabinet executive (England).”

On Question, amendment agreed to.

Schedule 18 [Repeals]:

Baroness Andrews moved Amendments Nos. 80 to 82:

“In section 3(4A) the words “or a mayor and council manager executive”.”

“Police and Justice Act 2006 (c. 48)

Section 20(5)(f) and (g)(i) to (iii).”

On Question, amendments agreed to.

Baroness Andrews: My Lords, I beg to move that this Bill do now pass.

Moved accordingly, and on Question, Bill passed, and returned to the Commons with amendments.

Dioceses, Pastoral and Mission Measure

8.06 pm

The Lord Bishop of Exeter rose to move, That this House do direct that, in accordance with the Church of England Assembly (Powers) Act 1919, the Dioceses, Pastoral and Mission Measure be presented to Her Majesty for Royal Assent.

The right reverend Prelate said: My Lords, your Lordships will have seen from the measure itself and from the report of the Ecclesiastical Committee that, following on from our previous discussions today, this is also a substantial piece of legislation. Indeed, we believe that it is the longest Church of England measure to come before your Lordships' House since the early 1980s. It covers a wide range of subjects, and deals with much that is central to the church's life and work—its parishes and places of worship, and the dioceses to which they belong. Because of the very breadth of the measure, I can do little more than give a very brief overview, but I hope to be able to explain to your Lordships, in broad terms, the measure's intentions, its main provisions and its importance.

The measure is the outcome of a seven-year process, set in train in 2000, to review some of the church's basic legal procedures and to ensure that they are as flexible, effective and cost-effective as

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possible in order to meet the needs which face the church now. This is a process which every major institution must undertake from time to time if it is to continue to flourish in a fast-changing world—and if the church is to carry out its mission effectively it must not merely take account of those changes, but be ready to embrace the opportunities that they offer.

This process of review and subsequent drafting has been very careful and thorough, with extensive consultation, and with very detailed scrutiny as the legislation progressed through the General Synod. It has resulted in amendments to some parts of the church's existing legislation, replacement of others and some completely new provisions as well. However, I should stress, as I did to the Ecclesiastical Committee, that what lies at the heart of the measure is evolution rather than revolution. It takes great care to safeguard and support the parochial structure, with its parish clergy and lay people, and the dioceses and their bishops, as intrinsic to the nature of the Church of England. Nevertheless, it had become clear that existing church law—and we are talking here mainly of legislation dating from the 1970s and 1980s if not earlier—needed some changes, and its operation needed some amendment and increased flexibility, in order to enable the church to further its mission, and the cure of souls, as effectively as possible in the 21st century.

Because this concept of the “mission of the church” lies at the heart of the measure, it is important that I explain to your Lordships that this is a term to which the measure expressly gives a very broad definition, covering the totality of the church’s mission—pastoral, evangelistic, social and ecumenical—and, as such, continues the meaning of mission as the term has been used in previous legislation of this nature.

Further, Section 1, which requires all those who are discharging functions under the measure to have due regard to the furtherance of the church’s mission, has been carefully drafted to ensure that the requirements of the church’s mission are held in proper balance with all the other factors which are relevant to the objectives of particular sections and that it is given its proper weight in that context. Thus, for example, architectural and historical considerations must continue to be properly weighed in matters relating to the care, use and disposal of church buildings which form such a unique and treasured part of our heritage.

Part II deals with the church’s provincial and diocesan structures. It replaces legislation from the 1970s with provisions for a new dioceses commission, now with an elected element in its membership, and a new set of, and more proactive, processes for reviewing and, where appropriate, reorganising diocesan arrangements. It is not that there is some existing blueprint behind all this. Rather, this is about appropriate adaptability for the future with this part of the measure requiring the commission to keep existing structures under regular review and then prescribing a process whereby any proposals for future reorganisation may be brought forward either by the bishop, or bishops, of the diocese or dioceses

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concerned, or by the commission. This process also makes detailed provision for consultation with, and safeguards for, all with a proper interest in it. At the end of the process, responsibility for the final decision on any particular proposal rests not with the diocese commission but remains that of the General Synod, where all the dioceses concerned will of course be represented.

Part II also makes some other very welcome changes, including giving individual dioceses autonomy from central bodies in deciding how best to use their suffragan and assistant bishops in their own particular circumstances. There are also sections making it easier for dioceses which wish to do so to set up joint administrative arrangements without compromising the essential independence of each diocese’s own diocesan synod and its bishop's council.

The following parts of the measure make a number of amendments to the processes in the 1983 pastoral measure for making changes, in particular, to parochial structures within a diocese and also for, where appropriate, a,

a term now preferred to the rather unhelpful description “declaration of redundancy” used in the 1983 legislation. The aim is very much to simplify and streamline the procedures, and make them, and the diocesan committee structures which support them, more flexible, but without removing the essential safeguards provided in the existing legislation.

I have already referred to the importance of caring for our church buildings and the opening sections of Part VII concentrate on this. At present there are two expert central church advisory bodies involved in this work. One is the Council for the Care of Churches, which deals with those church buildings which the church continues to use for regular public worship, but which also has a role to play in the early stages of considering the closure of a church. The other is the Advisory Board for Redundant Churches, whose remit applies later in that process. This measure replaces those bodies with a unified church buildings council in order to provide one cohensive, statutory central church source of expert information and advice on church buildings. Among other things this permits a single, seamless procedure for giving expert and independent advice on heritage issues involved in the closure of churches, offering a more effective process than at present. The independent nature of the advice is of real heritage significance. The measure takes great care to preserve it, in particular by giving a key role to an entrenched independent element of four members nominated by the Secretary of State.

Finally, Part V gives a bishop new powers to authorise mission initiatives in his diocese, beyond those that may already be encouraged and successfully operate under the existing law. These new powers meet the need of the church for a new type of model which a bishop can use to authorise those initiatives which do not fit within the present legal structures, either during their start-up phase or in the longer term. In carefully drafted provisions that allow

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for flexibility, but ensure that the initiative is anchored within the church’s wider framework, the measure permits non-parochial structures that complement existing parishes and parish clergy rather than undermining them and ensures that they receive proper support and guidance as they are established, together with proper oversight and structured review of their progress and direction.

I hope that this gives at least a general picture of the measure’s objectives and how it sets about achieving them. The General Synod showed its strong support for the measure throughout its various stages and on final approval Synod members gave it an overwhelming endorsement. The Ecclesiastical Committee has also been able to report unequivocally that it finds the legislation expedient. I hope that it will likewise commend itself to your Lordships.

Moved, That this House do direct that, in accordance with the Church of England Assembly (Powers) Act 1919, the Dioceses, Pastoral and Mission Measure be presented to Her Majesty for Royal Assent.—(The Lord Bishop of Exeter.)

8.15 pm

Baroness Wilcox: My Lords, I am a member of the Ecclesiastical Committee of Parliament and, as such, have already had the advantage of having this measure presented to us under the chairmanship of the noble and learned Lord, Lord Lloyd of Berwick, who will speak later. It was presented by the right reverend Prelate the Bishop of Exeter, who presented it so well again today, accompanied by the Dean of the Arches, the right worshipful Sheila Cameron, Dr Edmund Marshall, the venerable Christine Hardman, Miss Ingrid Slaughter and Mr William Fittell. I have been privileged to have heard all the stages of the Dioceses, Pastoral and Mission Measure. As we have already heard, that committee found the measure to be expedient; so here it is through to its final stages.

The measure, as we have heard, is wide-ranging. The Church of England believes that the measure will give it the flexibility it needs, given the changing circumstances and needs of its people, to enable its ministry better to serve English society at all levels. I should like to take two examples from the document; I have had some involvement with both in one way or another.

The first is the mission initiative in Part V. I am a member of the Lambeth Partnership and have been involved with Fresh Expressions. This is an interesting development: the idea is to develop alongside and complement the parochial structures, yet the nuances include the whole of the church mission, to be weighed up with all the other relevant factors. Nowadays so many people have their most significant connections where they work and in their social and family life. They are not as tied geographically as they used to be, so new ways of being the living body of the church are to be welcomed and nourished alongside that bedrock of parochial structures.

Secondly, Parts IV and VII of the measure deal with church buildings. I am experienced in that I have chaired the Redundant Church Uses Committee for

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six years and the Diocesan Advisory Committee for the Diocese of London. It is always sad when a church building has to go through procedure after procedure to close it, especially when it is listed, old, beautiful, famous, and was, in its time, very much loved. The remaining few people then have to wait a long time for what the church will finally be used for and sometimes it gets into a terrible state. That is a sad and awful witness for the church. It is a great thing that the church is trying so hard to bring into being this new statutory body to give parishioners a single, simple procedure to ensure that a church is protected during its time of change and then put to the best possible use.

I understand that the new body will contain four independent members. Long and hard work has gone into this measure—this evolution rather than revolution—and we hope and believe that it is the right thing to do. We on these Benches are content for the measure to be presented to Her Majesty for Royal Assent, and we wish it well.

Lord Lloyd of Berwick: My Lords, as the right reverend Prelate has said, this is an important measure, perhaps the most important to come before the House for some years. I suspect that the most important part of the measure—certainly the most innovative—is Part V, which enables diocesan bishops to make what are called mission orders. Happily, that part is entirely uncontroversial, so I can pass quickly to the only two controversial matters raised in the course of the hearing before the Ecclesiastical Committee. The first arises under Part II of the measure, which enables the dioceses commission to make proposals for the reorganisation of dioceses, including dissolution. Certain people in the diocese of Truro took the view that this provision was directed towards them, perhaps thinking that their diocese might be swallowed up by the diocese of Exeter. Happily, the right reverend Prelate was able to assure the committee that the diocese of Exeter has no territorial ambitions.


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