On Saturday 6th May 2017 the Archbishops of Canterbury and York published a pastoral letter to the parishes and chaplaincies of the Church of England, about the General Election of 8th June.
The Archbishops urged people to set aside “apathy and cynicism” and to draw new inspiration from the ancient Christian virtues of “love, trust and hope”.
The three-page letter, intended to be shared in churches from 7th May onwards, encouraged voters to remember Britain’s Christian history and heritage as well as a concern for future generations and God’s creation as they make their decisions.
Following divisions of recent years, it called for reconciliation drawing on shared British values based on cohesion, courage and stability.
It upheld marriage, family and households as the building blocks of society which should be “nurtured and supported” as a “blessing”.
At a time when political differences may be felt more intensely than ever, the Archbishops insisted that Christians’ “first obligation” during the election and beyond is to pray for those standing for office and recognise the personal costs and burdens carried by those in political life and by their families.
But Christians also have a duty to play an active part in the process, they added. Continue reading
On 27th April 2017 the Bishop of St Albans asked the Government what it was doing to support prisoners at risk of suicide or self-harm:
The Lord Bishop of St Albans: To ask Her Majesty’s Government, further to the Written Answer by Lord Keen of Elie on 3 April (HL6247), what are the measures that will be put in
place to help support prisoners who are at risk of selfharm or suicide. [HL6804] Continue reading
On 26th April 2017 Baroness Barker asked Her Majesty’s Government “what action they are planning to take in response to reports of the persecution and detention of LGBT citizens in Chechnya.” The Bishop of Newcastle, Rt Revd Christine Hardman, asked a follow up question:
The Lord Bishop of Newcastle: My Lords, what support have Her Majesty’s Government provided and what support do they intend to provide to the Russian LGBT Network, which is helping gay men flee Chechnya? Continue reading
On 26th April 2017 Lord McConnell of Glenscorrodale asked Her Majesty’s Government “what action they plan to take to deliver the United Nations Global Goals for Sustainable Development by 2030.” The Bishop of Southwark, Rt Revd Christopher Chessun, asked a follow up question:
The Lord Bishop of Southwark: My Lords, like the noble Lord, Lord Alton, I welcome the Prime Minister’s pledge to maintain the commitment of 0.7% of GDP for overseas aid. But I would be glad to know the Minister’s views on the usefulness of targeting aid in support of the goals not solely through large organisations but through more local partners such as those highlighted in the West Bank and Gaza by the right reverend Prelate the Bishop of Leeds on 21 March.
On 26th April 2017 the Bishop of St Albans, Rt Revd Alan Smith, received a written answer from the Government about bereavement support payments:
The Lord Bishop of St Albans: To ask Her Majesty’s Government why, when determining the length of time for which Bereavement Support Payments would be paid, they considered 18 months a suitable timeframe for bereavement support. [HL6803] Continue reading
On 25th April 2017, Lord Oates asked Her Majesty’s Government “what measures they intend to take to promote United Kingdom–Africa trade and development co-operation in the transitional and post-Brexit periods.” The Bishop of Southwark, the Rt Revd Christopher Chessun, asked a supplementary question:
The Lord Bishop of Southwark: The Minister may know that I am a regular visitor to Zimbabwe, where my diocese has links with four of the five Anglican dioceses there. How do Her Majesty’s Government propose to respond to the preponderance of Chinese investment both there and in other African nations, both in infrastructure and major economic undertakings? Continue reading
On 24th April 2017, Baroness Evans of Bowes Park led the House in paying tribute to the retiring Clerk of Parliaments, Sir David Beamish. The Bishop of Southwark, Rt Revd Christopher Chessun, spoke on behalf of the Lords Spiritual.
The Lord Bishop of Southwark: My Lords, I warmly associate myself with the words of tribute already spoken and add my own on behalf of the Lords Spiritual. Sir David Beamish has combined wise counsel, trusty support and firm friendship for all on these Benches, and my colleagues and I have greatly benefited from his guidance. Continue reading