Church of England Week in Westminster, 8th – 12th December 2014

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

Westminster-abbeyThis week, bishops in the House of Lords spoke in debates about the Childcare Payments Bill, the Modern Slavery Bill, economic leadership for cities, female genital mutilation, global development goals and the Cohabitation Rights Bill.

They also asked questions about British nationals abroad, domestic violence, child poverty, mesothelioma research funding, forced marriage and hunger in Britain.

Bishops also voted on amendments to the Criminal Justice and Courts Bill, during the ping-pong stage of the Bill’s consideration.

In the House of Commons, the Second Church Estates Commissioner, the Rt Hon Sir Tony Baldry MP, answered questions about  the maintenance of cathedrals, church repairs, bat damage in churches and general election hustings

Monday 8th December

The Bishop of Derby, the Rt Revd Alastair Redfern, asked a supplementary question on the impact of child poverty on children’s early years educational development.

13.10 Bishop of CoventryThe Bishop of Coventry, the Rt Revd Christopher Cocksworth, received an answer to a written question on British nationals engaged in armed conflict abroad.

The Bishop of St Albans, the Rt Revd Alan Smith, received an answer to a written question on the Convention on Preventing and Combating Violence against Women and Domestic Violence.

 

Tuesday 9th December

14.03 Bishop of ChesterThe Bishop of Chester, the Rt Revd Peter Forster, asked a supplementary question on mesothelioma research funding.

The Bishop of Sheffield, the Rt Revd Steven Croft, took part in the Second Reading debate of the Government’s Childcare Payments Bill. He welcomed the provisions in the Bill to support low and middle-income families, but pressed the Government to ensure the Bill provided equity of delivery for families in receipt of Universal Credit, and also called on the Government to provide greater support for families with disabled children.

House of Lords Division Lobby

Four bishops took part in divisions on the Government’s Criminal Justice and Courts Bill, during ‘ping-pong’ between the House of Lords and the House of Commons. The amendments dealt with secure colleges and judicial review.

 

Wednesday 10th December

DerbyThe Bishop of Derby, the Rt Revd Alastair Redfern, took part in the Committee Stage of the Government’s Modern Slavery Bill. The Bishop spoke in support of an amendment to put a new National Referral Mechanism on a statutory footing, and also raised questions about how the Government’s approach towards tackling slavery could be better integrated with safeguarding awareness.

The Bishop of St Albans, the Rt Revd Alan Smith, received an answer to a written question on the subject of forced marriage.

 

Thursday 11th December

The Bishop of St Albans, the Rt Revd Alan Smith, asked a topical oral question, asking Her Majesty’s Government what assessment they have made of the recommendations of the All-Party Parliamentary Group on Food Poverty’s recent report, Feeding Britain. Bishop of St Albans

The Bishop spoke in a debate on what steps the Government are taking to encourage prosecutions of offenders under the Female Genital Mutilation Act 2003. The Bishop also received an answer from the Department for Work and Pensions to two written questions on child poverty.

The Bishop of Sheffield, the Rt Revd Steven Croft, spoke in a debate on the case for economic leadership for cities. He highlighted the importance of local democracy in enabling economic flourishing.He also took part in a debate on the case for establishing new global development goals in 2015.

In the House of Commons, the Second Church Estates Commissioner, Rt Hon Sir Tony Baldry MP, 14.01 CCQ Baldryanswered questions about maintenance of cathedrals, church repairs, bat damage in churches and general election hustings.

 

 

Friday 12th December14.03.27 Bishop of Sheffield

The Bishop of Sheffield, the Rt Revd Steven Croft, took part in the Second Reading debate of Lord Marks of Henley’s Private Members’ Bill, the Cohabitiation Rights Bill.