House of Commons Urgent Question from Ben Bradshaw mp

24 January 2023

Ben Bradshaw photo
Ben Bradshaw (left) addressing the House on his Urgent Question
“To ask the Second Church Estates Commissioner if he will make a statement on the outcome of the meeting of Church of England bishops on equal marriage in the Church of England”

The Commissioner, Andrew Selous mp, replied by summarizing the bishops’ statement as he understands it.

Ben Bradshaw replied by asking a series of pointed questions challenging the bishops’ proposals and in effect arguing for equal marriage in the Church of England.

As the debate continued, the Father of the House, Sir Peter Bottomley mp said “This House will not put up with being held up by one-third of one part of the General Synod.” … “… the Church of England needs to wake up. I commend to it the establishment of a commission similar to the Chadwick commission, and for it to ask itself how to get out of this dilemma. Does it want to solve it, or will it leave it to us to do that for it?” He and others thus set before the bishops the prospect that Parliament might legislate to make them accept equal marriage. That will certainly concentrate hearts and minds.

The whole debate is highly important and well worth listening to: go to If that link no longer works, you can view or download the video from the link below:

The Hansard transcription of the debate can be found at