Week in Westminster 18th-22nd February 2019

This week in the House of Lords bishops asked questions about the two-child limit and racist incidents in schools. In the House of Commons questions were asked of the Church Commissioners on rural parish clergy, metal theft, bell ringing and gravestones. Written answers were provided on Christian persecution overseas, homelessness, and married couples’ tax allowances. Continue reading “Week in Westminster 18th-22nd February 2019”

Bishop of Durham asks Government about impact of two-child limit on access to free school meals

On 21st February 2019 Lord Bassam of Brighton asked the Government “whether they intend to reconsider recent changes to access to free school meals following their decision to delay the roll out of Universal Credit.” The Bishop of Durham, Rt Revd Paul Butler, asked a question on the two-child limit:

The Lord Bishop of Durham: My Lords, the two-child limit means that welfare reforms weigh particularly heavily on families with three or more children. What assessment have the Government made of the consequence of changes to free school meals that are set to impact on children with more than one sibling? Does the Minister agree that this policy will effectively harm children from large families through no fault of their own? Continue reading “Bishop of Durham asks Government about impact of two-child limit on access to free school meals”

Church Commissioner Questions – rural parish clergy, metal theft, bell ringing, gravestones

On 21st February 2019 questions were put by MPs to the Church Commissioners in the House of Commons, on rural parish clergy, metal theft, bell ringing, and gravestones.

In the absence of the Second Church Estates Commissioner questions were answered by the Leader of the House, Rt Hon Andrea Leadsom MP. As Lord President of the Council, the Leader of the House is one of the State Office Holders who are ex-officio Church Commissioners.  Continue reading “Church Commissioner Questions – rural parish clergy, metal theft, bell ringing, gravestones”

Church Commissioner Questions – Christian persecution overseas, homelessness, married couples’ tax allowance

On 21st February 2019 the Second Church Estates Commissioner, Rt Hon Dame Caroline Spelman MP, answered three written questions from MPs, on Christian persecution overseas, homelessness, and married couples’ tax allowances.

Jim Shannon(Strangford): To ask the Right Honourable Member for Meriden, representing the Church Commissioners, what humanitarian support the Church of England provides to people overseas that are persecuted for their Christian beliefs. Continue reading “Church Commissioner Questions – Christian persecution overseas, homelessness, married couples’ tax allowance”

Bishop of Ely asks Government about racist incidents in schools

On 18th February 2019 Baroness Chakrabarti asked the Government “what progress has been made in meeting the recommendation of the Report of the Stephen Lawrence Inquiry, published in February 1999, that schools record all racist incidents and that the numbers of racist incidents are published annually on a school by school basis.” The Bishop of Ely, Rt Revd Stephen Conway, asked a follow up question:

The Lord Bishop of Ely: My Lords, the Minister will be aware that the Church of England is responsible for many schools where the majority of pupils are from a BME background. Those schools operate in great harmony. That is along with our initiative, Living Well Together. It would be good to hear more about how the DfE makes use of the information and statistics that it receives. There is an issue about holding the whole estate accountable, which cannot be left entirely to the local situation. Continue reading “Bishop of Ely asks Government about racist incidents in schools”

Week in Westminster, 11th-15th February 2019

This week in the House of Lords bishops spoke in a debate about UK immigration policy, and asked questions about child refugees, the beef farming sector, alternatives to plastics, and tensions between Rwanda and Burundi . Bishops also took part in a vote on an amendment about death penalty assurances, to the Crime (Overseas Production Orders) Bill. Continue reading “Week in Westminster, 11th-15th February 2019”

Bishop of Durham – We need an immigration policy led by the needs of communities and the personhood of migrants

On 14th February 2019 the House of Lords held a short debate on a question from Lord Roberts of Llandudno, “to ask Her Majesty’s Government what steps they will take to improve immigration procedures in the United Kingdom.” The Bishop of Durham, Rt Revd Paul Butler, took part:

Given the velocity with which the incredibly narrow immigration Bill will likely be sped through this House, any and all opportunities for Parliament to provide scrutiny of immigration is to be welcomed. Without more scrutiny we seem to risk squandering the potential for a reset moment in the way that the UK thinks, debates and legislates about migration.

Continue reading “Bishop of Durham – We need an immigration policy led by the needs of communities and the personhood of migrants”