To my delight and surprise I was asked to take on the role of Church Estates Commissioner in the House of Commons during this Parliament. My role as Second Church Estates Commissioner is to provide an important link between Government and the established Church.
Once a month, I will answer both oral and written questions from MPs in the House of Commons about Church of England matters. It is also my duty in this role, as a member of the Ecclesiastical Committee, to steer Church of England legislation through the House of Commons.
Through my role I am also an ex-officio member of the Church of England's General Synod.
The Second Commissioner is required to be a confirmed lay member of the Church of England and is by convention an MP from the governing political party. The post is a Crown appointment, made on the advice of the Prime Minister and whilst it is honorary and unpaid, the position of Second Church Estates Commissioner is included in the published list of Government members.
Whilst the position exists to maintain the statutory accountability of the Church Commissioners to Parliament, the position has evolved over the time of successive Second Commissioners to seek to provide a link between Government and Parliament on the one hand and the established Church on the other.