European Union (Withdrawal Agreement) Bill: Bishop of Leeds cites dissatisfaction with EU citizens registration rules

18.12.05 Leeds Brexit deal debateOn 14th January 2020 Lord Oates (LD) moved Amendment 2 to the European Union (Withdrawal Agreement) Bill during its Committee Stage*. The Bishop of Leeds, Rt Revd Nick Baines, spoke in the debate on the amendment:

The Lord Bishop of Leeds: I thank the Minister for giving way. Does she agree that many of the 2.5 million people who have registered have done so resentfully and unhappily, because the process that they have been made to go through is effectively applying for a status that many of them have for decades felt that they should have had automatically?

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Bishop of Worcester asks Government to work with citizens’ assemblies on plans for democratic reform

worcesterOn 14th January 2020 Baroness Bennett of Manor Castle asked the Government “what plans the Constitution, Democracy and Rights Commission has to engage with civil society”.  The Bishop of Worcester, Rt Revd John Inge, asked a follow-up question:

The Lord Bishop of Worcester: My Lords, I have seen the disillusionment to which the Minister refers. Given that no plans have yet been made for exactly how the commission will work, as well as the success of citizens’ assemblies in Ireland and France in rebuilding trust in democratic institutions, might the Minister think it a good idea to involve such citizens’ assemblies in the commission’s work? Continue reading “Bishop of Worcester asks Government to work with citizens’ assemblies on plans for democratic reform”

European Union (Withdrawal Agreement) Bill: Bishop of Leeds says manner of withdrawal “will say something powerful about who we think we are”

Leeds0518bOn 13th January 2020 the Bishop of Leeds, Rt Revd Nick Baines, spoke in the second reading debate in the House of Lords of the European Union (Withdrawal Agreement) Bill:

The Lord Bishop of Leeds: My Lords, I look forward to the maiden speech of the noble Lord, Lord Barwell, for whom I had great respect when we served together in Croydon some years ago.

I think it is important that old arguments are not rerun in this debate: wherever one stands in relation to the 2016 referendum and subsequent debates, we are now where we are. I suspect, however, that it remains important for certain matters of principle to be rearticulated even at this stage, as the record will need to be clear when the history comes to be written, not least regarding the wisdom of writing into law hard deadlines for an implementation period. Do we not have anything to learn from recent history?

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Bishop of Durham says impact of two-child limit on some benefits will be rise in child poverty

Durham040219On the 13th January Baroness Lister of Burtersett asked the Government “what assessment they have made of the impact on low-income families of the four-year freeze in working age and children’s benefits”. the Bishop of Durham, the Rt Revd Paul Butler, asked a follow-up question:

The Lord Bishop of Durham: My Lords, in the coming years, the main driver in increasing child poverty will be the two-child limit. Low-income families are particularly detrimentally impacted by this. It is predicted that, by 2023-24, this policy will tip 300,000 children into poverty. What plans do Her Majesty’s Government have to stem the rising child poverty levels caused by current policies, primarily the two-child limit?

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Church Commissioners written answer: persecuted Christians

SelousOn 10th January 2020, Andrew Selous MP, the newly appointed Second Church Estates Commissioner, answered a written question from Jim Shannon MP, about Kurdish and other persecuted Christians:

Jim Shannon (DUP): 299 To ask the hon. Member representing the Church Commissioners, what steps the Church of England is taking to provide support to (a) Kurdish Christians and (b) other persecuted Christian groups.

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Bishop of Portsmouth responds to Queen’s Speech – how to build ‘one-nation’

On 9th January 2020, the Bishop of Portsmouth, Rt Revd Christopher Foster, spoke in the Queen’s Speech debate, about unifying the nation by building on the expansion of the Living Wage and addressing welfare, child poverty, homelessness and help for the disabled: 

The Lord Bishop of Portsmouth: My Lords, it is stating the obvious to say that these are turbulent, uncertain times, perhaps the most turbulent in living memory, even when that memory belongs to Members of your Lordships’ House—a particular, special demographic. It is striking in the face of so much that is uncertain and unknown that the Government’s rhetoric is of clarity, confidence, and even dash. However, while the terrain might be new, much of the rhetoric is from an older school. What is novel is from whom it comes. Continue reading “Bishop of Portsmouth responds to Queen’s Speech – how to build ‘one-nation’”

Bishop of Gloucester responds to Queen’s Speech – the needs of children and vulnerable women

On 9th January 2020 the Bishop of Gloucester, Rt Revd Rachel Treweek, spoke in the Queen’s Speech debate, about children and vulnerable women:

The Lord Bishop of Gloucester: My Lords, I begin by congratulating the noble Baroness, Lady Blower, on her excellent maiden speech.

I shall focus on children and vulnerable women; I draw noble Lords’ attention to my entry on the register of interests. My headlines are that we need policy that supports and enables early intervention and effective partnerships. Experiences that we have at an early age shape who we are. The Children’s Society has been measuring children’s well-being for more than a decade, and during much of that time children’s well-being has been in decline. This is not simply about children; it is about how we shape the sort of communities we want to see. Continue reading “Bishop of Gloucester responds to Queen’s Speech – the needs of children and vulnerable women”