[Bell Historians] DAC advisers

Andrew Wilby andrew at w...
Thu May 13 00:46:10 BST 2004

CJP <Some DACs and the CCC - largely because they
feel spooked by EH looking over their shoulders
and act with undue caution owing to the threat of
the withdrawal of ecclesiastical exemption -
sometimes seem to have lost sight of the fact that
they are supposed to be Church bodies working for
the church>

Yes, absolutely..... and how real a fear is it?

The" withdrawal of ecclesiastical exemption" is
not within the power of EH to implement one way or
the other. It would require primary legislation,
in other words an Act of Parliament. As we all
should know, primary legislation takes an awful
lot of doing, even the Government has trouble with
it! Any attempt would become exposed to all sorts
of scrutiny before Royal Assent and makes it I
think quite a long shot as a serious threat.

A private members bill to abolish EH would
probably be easier!

Having been involved in getting primary
legislation through Parliament I feel somewhat
over-awed by the idea of it one way or the other
and would strongly urge all concerned not to be
intimidated by it.

If you look at the present legislation, it was
clearly the intent of Parliament to separate the
secular planning controls from the ecclesiastical.
EH have clearly infiltrated their way across the
divide, largely by using the power of their purse
coupled with the un-robust attitude of the
guardians of the ecclesiastical interest, to a
point where the exemption directed by Parliament
is much compromised.

Perhaps the C of E strategy has been left in the
hands of too many well meaning enthusiastic
specialists unable to see the wood for the trees
for too long?

Expert collectors of loco numbers don't
necessarily know how to run a railway....


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