Church and State: Living in an Old Country

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“The relationship between Church and State is not a matter of special privileges granted by an all-powerful State to one particular faith. It is a relationship that has been at the heart of our forms of government for many centuries, and which has weathered enormous changes – even a civil war.”

Rev Dr Malcolm Brown on how the relationship between Church and State reflects a deeply embedded Anglican Christian identity. Continue reading

Giving to Caesar, Giving to God: Rowan Williams’ address at the service for the new Parliament, June 2010

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There is the big picture for every politician who seeks to be more than a mere manager of the state’s business, a part of the mechanism of collecting Caesar’s taxes. Good government from a Christian point of view is about the acknowledgement and reinforcement of human dignity.”- Rowan Williams, 8/6/10

10.06 Rowan sermon for new parliament

Most Rev Dr Rowan Williams addressing MPs & Peers at the service for the new Parliament, St Margaret’s Westminster, 8/6/10

On 8th June 2010, shortly after the General Election, a service was held for the new Parliament in St Margaret’s Church, Westminster. The audience, comprised largely of MPs, Peers and parliamentary staff, heard the Archbishop of Canterbury deliver a sermon on Matthew 22: 16-21: Continue reading

Lords Spiritual No Longer, Part Three: The Bishops of Bradford

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On Easter Day, 20th April 2014, the Church of England Dioceses of Bradford, Ripon & Leeds and Wakefield, will be merged to form a new Diocese of West Yorkshire and the Dales. The bishops of those former dioceses will no longer sit in Parliament as Lords Spiritual. Here – in the last of three parts – is a (very) brief history of the Bishops of Bradford as parliamentarians. Parts one (Ripon) & two (Wakefield) can be viewed here & here.

Part Three: The Bishops of Bradford

Since the formation of the Diocese of Bradford in 1920, there have been ten diocesan bishops of Bradford.

Perowne and Blunt

Bishop Alfred Perowne

Bishop Arthur Perowne

Its first bishop was Rt Rev Arthur Perowne, who served until his translation to Worcester in 1931. Bishop Perowne was born into a distinguished ecclesiastical family (his father John James Stewart Perowne, was also a Bishop of Worcester). Bishop Perowne was introduced to the House of Lords in November 1923, and whilst there is no record of him making any speeches in his eight years as a member, after his translation to Worcester he spoke in support of better regulation of clubs serving alcohol. Continue reading

Lords Spiritual No Longer, Part Two: The Bishops of Wakefield

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On Easter Day, 20th April 2014, the Church of England Dioceses of Bradford, Ripon & Leeds and Wakefield, will be merged to form a new Diocese of West Yorkshire and the Dales. Here – in three parts – is a (very) brief history of the bishops of those dioceses as parliamentarians. Part One (Ripon) can be viewed here.

Part Two: The Bishops of Wakefield

All but one of the 12 who held office as Bishop of Wakefield during the 126 year history of the diocese served in the House of Lords.

Walsham How

Bishop of Wakefield William_Walsham_How

Bishop William Walsham How

The first Bishop of Wakefield, William Walsham How, came into the Lords in March 1891, three years after his appointment to the new diocese and remained a member until his death in 1897. Continue reading

Lords Spiritual No Longer, Part One: The Bishops of Ripon

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On Easter Day, 20th April 2014, the Church of England Dioceses of Bradford, Ripon & Leeds and Wakefield, will be merged to form a new Diocese of West Yorkshire and the Dales. Although the bishop of that new diocese will in due course join other bishops in the House of Lords, the dissolution of the three former dioceses marks an end to the era of the Bishops of Bradford, Ripon & Leeds and Wakefield as Lords Spiritual. Much has been written and recorded about the wider contributions of successive occupants of these Sees, but here – in three parts –  is a (very) brief history of those bishops as parliamentarians.

Part One: The Bishops of Ripon

Since its formation in 1836 there have been 12 bishops of the diocese of Ripon (and latterly, Ripon & Leeds).

Longley and Bickersteth

Its first bishop was Rt Rev Charles Longley, who served until his translation to Durham in 1856, before becoming Archbishop of Canterbury in 1862.

NPG 1056,Charles Thomas Longley,by George Richmond

Bishop Charles Longley

Longley had married the daughter of the Postmaster General in Prime Minister Lord Melbourne’s Government. However, as the Oxford Dictionary of National Biography records, “Melbourne agreed that Longley need not be constrained to vote with the government on matters of Irish church policy. Longley actually voted against the government on other issues besides the Irish church, to Melbourne’s pain and displeasureLongley opposed the Oxford University Bill of 1854 which, among other things, reduced the proportion of clerical fellows in each college and reconstituted the central government of the university. In 1854 Longley was named as one of two churchmen who would join the executive commissioners empowered to revise the statutes of the university and colleges of Oxford.” Continue reading

Bishop of Oxford announces retirement

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11.12.15 Bishop of Oxford11th April 2014: The Diocese of Oxford has announced that Rt Rev John Pritchard will retire as Bishop of Oxford on 31st October this year. Bishop John, who chairs the Church of England’s Board of Education and leads for the Bishops in the House of Lords on education & church schools, will also cease to be a member of the Lords on that date. Continue reading

Egypt: Aid and Reform- Written Question

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On 9th April 2014 the Bishop of Coventry received a written answer to a question on Egypt.

13.10 Bishop of Coventry The Lord Bishop of Coventry: To ask Her Majesty’s Government what consideration they have given to making development aid to Egypt contingent on political and judicial reform.[HL6392]

Baroness Northover (LD): DfID does not have a country office or bilateral programme in Egypt but provides support through the Arab Partnership Fund and the British Embassy in Cairo. The Arab Partnership seeks to support political and economic reform in Egypt, focusing on accountability, improved governance, public voice and economic opportunity. Assistance is not provided through or to the Egyptian Government, but is channelled through civil society and international financial institutions in support of long-term reform.

(via Parliament.uk)