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(1)Where in the case of any area it appears to the Church Commissioners (in this Measure referred to as “the Commissioners”), having regard to recent housing development in the area, that the area is not sufficiently provided with suitable church buildings of any description, and that it is expedient for the Commissioners to exercise their powers under this Measure, the Commissioners shall have power, subject to the provisions of this section, to make payments, whether by way of grant or loan, for or towards the provision in that area of one or more church buildings of the description in question.
(2)The Commissioners shall not exercise their powers under this Measure in respect of the provision of a church building except on receipt of a request in writing made by or on behalf of the pastoral committee of the diocese in which the building is to be provided, being a request made with the concurrence in writing of the bishop of the diocese:
Provided that the [F1diocesan synod] of the diocese may designate a committee other than the pastoral committee to act under this subsection in place of the pastoral committee.
(3)Any payment made by the Commissioners in the exercise of their powers under this Measure shall be made out of their general fund, and shall be made to such person or body of persons, and on such terms and conditions, as the Commissioners may think proper having regard to the circumstances in which the payment is made.
(4)Without prejudice to the generality of the last preceding subsection, any payment made as aforesaid by way of loan may be made repayable by instalments or otherwise, and either, free of interest or subject to the payment of interest at such rate as the Commissioners may think proper.
(5)In this section references to the provision of church buildings shall be construed as references to all or any of the following, that is to say, the acquisition of sites for church buildings, the erection of church buildings, the acquisition of church buildings or of any interest therein, the enlargement or improvement of church buildings, and the conversion or adaptation of any building so as to make it suitable for a church building.
(6)[F2In this section “recent housing development”, in relation to any area, means the provision in that area, during the period of twenty-five years immediately preceding the date of the receipt by the Commissioners of a request made under subsection (2) above with respect to that area, of new dwellings on such a scale as, in the opinion of the Commissioners, to have resulted in a substantial increase during that period in the resident population of the area], the expression “building” includes a structure of any description, and the expression “church building” means any building used or to be used wholly or mainly for purposes connected with the Church of England: . . . F3
(7)Nothing in this section shall be construed as derogating from any powers exercisable by the Commissioners apart from this section.
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