Church of England Week in Westminster, 13th-17th October 2014

Red BenchesWelcome to the Church of England’s weekly round-up of activity in Parliament.

In the past week, bishops in the House of Lords have led the debate on the Church of England Measure for Women Bishops, which was passed by Peers. They have also spoken in debates on the Government’s strategy for social justice, on wind farms and put questions on rented homes, ISIL in Iraq/Syria and the situation in Ukraine.

Monday 13th October

Iraq and Syria

The Bishop of Coventry, the Rt Revd Christopher Cocksworth, received answers to written questions on the subjects of Iraq and Syria. They can be seen here and here.

Ukrainians in Russia

Lord Spicer asked Her Majesty’s Government what steps they took to encourage negotiations between the two sides at the start of the conflict in Ukraine. The Bishop of St Albans, the Rt Revd Alan Smith, asked a supplementary question, which can be seen here.

Tuesday 14th October

Rented Home Security

Lord McKenzie of Luton asked Her Majesty’s Government what steps they will take to improve housing stability for those renting in the private sector, particularly families. The Bishop of Rochester, the Rt Revd James Langstaff, asked a supplementary question about pensioners, which can be seen here.

ISIL in Iraq and Syria

Lord Avebury asked Her Majesty’s Government what additional measures they are suggesting to allied states to prevent ISIL occupying further territory in Syria and Iraq. The Archbishop of Canterbury, the Most Revd and Rt Hon Justin Welby, asked a supplementary question, which can be read here.

Women Bishops Measure

Archbishop of CanterburyThe House of Lords debated an approved the motion, proposed by the Archbishop of Canterbury ‘That this House do direct that, in accordance with the Church of England Assembly (Powers) Act 1919, the Bishops and Priests (Consecration and Ordination of Women) Measure be presented to Her Majesty for the Royal Assent.’ The speeches in the debate by the Archbishop and the Bishop of Rochester and other contributors, can be seen here.

Wednesday 15th October

Wind Farms

Baroness Quin led a short debate in the House of Lords on the Government’s assessment of the extent of onshore wind farming in the county of Northumberland. The Bishop of Newcastle, the Rt Revd Martin Wharton, contributed to the debate, making the case for an increased focus on the development of alternative forms of renewable energy outside the county of Northumberland. His speech is here.

Thursday 16th October

Social Justice

14.10.16 Bishop of Ely 1The House of Lords debated a motion in the name of Baroness Tyler of Enfield, “that this House takes note of Her Majesty’s Government’s Social Justice strategy.” The Bishop of Ely, Rt Rev Stephen Conway, gave his maiden speech in the debate, which can be read here. The Bishop of Truro, Rt Rev Tim Thornton also spoke in the debate and his speech is here.

ISIL, Iraq and Syria

A statement by the Foreign Secretary on ISIL, Iraq and Syria was repeated in the House of Lords by the Minister of State at the Foreign and Commonwealth Office, Baroness Anelay of St Johns. The Bishop of Truro, Rt Rev Tim Thornton, asked a question about freedom of religion in response, which can be seen here.