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Statement from The Church Commissioners concerning Sir Stuart Bell MP

The Secretary of the Church Commissioners of the Church of England, Mr, Andrew Brown, today issued the following statement.

"It was with great sadness that we learned today of the death of Sir Stuart Bell MP from pancreatic cancer aged just 74.

"Sir Stuart was the longest serving Second Church Estates Commissioner and served both the Church Commissioners and the Church of England with distinction. Before stepping down following the last election he regularly answered questions on church matters in the House of Commons covering a wide range of topics. He was a man of wisdom and integrity; he will be much missed. Sir Stuart's family remain in our thoughts and prayers."

Notes to Editors:


  • Sir Stuart Bell MP for Middlesborough served as Second estates commissioner from 1997 - 2010.
  • The Second Church Estates Commissioner provides an important link between Government and the established Church. The Second Commissioner answers oral and written questions from MPs about Church of England matters, is a member of the Ecclesiastical Committee and steers Church of England legislation through the House of Commons. He or she 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. The Second Church Estates Commissioner is also an ex-officio member of the Church of England's General Synod.

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