Bishops have sponsored Ukrainian refugees, reveals second church property commissioner

AT LEAST four bishops have sponsored refugees through the Homes for Ukraine program, we learned this week.

A parliamentary question to the Second Church Estates Commissioner, Andrew Selous MP (above)established that, although no official list was kept, Church commissioners were “aware of four bishops who successfully sponsored refugees.”

Mr Selous, who is the Conservative MP for South West Bedfordshire, said there were ‘several other people still waiting either to be matched or for their applications to be completed’.

The Bishop of St Edmundsbury & Ipswich, the Rt Revd Martin Seeley, is one of those still waiting, despite signing to donate his home in March (News 18 March). In April, he spoke to BBC News about his “frustration” with the delay in issuing visas.

“I’m just struck that at a time of catastrophic crisis, we still insisted that a number of hurdles be cleared when other countries in Europe saw fit to set them aside,” he said.

The written question came from MP Justin Madders, the Shadow Minister for the Future of Work, who asked ‘if any Church of England properties are being used under the Homes for Ukraine scheme’.

The second commissioner is appointed by the ruling party in the House of Commons to answer parliamentary questions on Church of England matters. Mr. Selous has held this position since January 2020 (News, January 13, 2020).

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