To ask the right hon. Member for Meriden, representing the Church Commissioners, what the policy is of the Church Commissioners on the playing of secular music in (a) St. Sepulchre-without-Newgate Church and (b) all churches.
30 October 2017
The Church of England’s ‘Open and Sustainable Churches’ programme operates through its ChurchCare website [http://www.churchcare.co.uk/churches/open-sustainable]. This programme offers advice and encouragement to churches on how to use imaginative and strategic ways to make their spaces available for purposes as well as worship. These could be community activities, cultural or even commercial events. There is no specific national policy about the use of churches for concerts, as this is usually left to the discretion of the Vicar and the Parochial Church Council.
Following a decision by the Parochial Church Council of St Sepulchre-without-Newgate the church will end its programme of offering hire space to musicians from 2018. In its place, the church will offer monthly Saturday evening concerts in partnership with external musical groups, including classical and choral music both sacred and secular, as well as Monday evening concerts and guest choirs at Evensong.
From 1 November, the Diocese of London will also launch a website that will provide easy access to hire space and booking options for musicians in London, as well as a tool to promote concerts and events.