The 2015 General Election was the first time that the Church of England’s House of Bishops published a document. But past recent General Elections saw statements issued by Archbishops. Summaries of those from 2001, 2005 and 2010 are below.
Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth The Queen Mother, died on 30th March 2002. On 3rd April 2002 the House of Lords met to offer tributes. The Lord Privy Seal rose to move, ‘That an humble Address be presented to Her Majesty’, which began as follows:
“Most Gracious Sovereign—We, Your Majesty’s most dutiful and loyal subjects, the Lords Spiritual and Temporal in Parliament assembled, beg leave to express our heartfelt sympathy in the great sorrow which Your Majesty has suffered by the death of Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth The Queen Mother; and to offer to Your Majesty our most sincere condolences.
The Archbishop of Canterbury said:
My Lords, it is with great sadness that I convey from these Benches the support of the Lords Spiritual for the Motion. I hope, too, that my few words may reflect some of the feelings of the wider Church.
Welcome to the Church of England’s weekly round-up of activity in Parliament.
This week, bishops in the House of Lords took part in debates on the Modern Slavery Bill, the 2015 Budget statement, the EU & Russia, NHS public contracts, immigration detention and construction regulations.
The bishops also asked questions on rural deprivation, Nigeria’s Presidential election, the extractives industry and mental health,
The Lords Spiritual (Women) Act was granted Royal Assent. Parliament was prorogued and will return after the General Election in May.
On 26th March 2015 Lord Lloyd of Berwick led a short debate, “to ask Her Majesty’s Government what is their assessment of the Report of the Inquiry into the Use of Immigration Detention in the United Kingdom, published on 3 March”. The Bishop of Peterborough, Rt Revd Donald Allister, spoke in the debate, which was the last of the 2010-15 Parliament and the final contribution of Lord Lloyd, who was to retire.
The Lord Bishop of Peterborough: My Lords, from these Benches I too pay tribute to the noble and learned Lord, Lord Lloyd, and thank him in particular for his service as chairman of the Ecclesiastical Committee of Parliament. He has chaired the committee for 13 years with a forensic eye for detail. He has taken the time and made the effort, as we know is typical of him, to understand the Church of England—and has maintained a sense of humour. It is remarkable and we are hugely grateful. He has also been a friend to many of us, for which we are also grateful. We wish him very much happiness in his retirement, not least in his lambing next month.
I was shocked and distressed to read this report. I did not take part in the inquiry but some of the facts that are presented here—which were to some extent in the public domain anyway but are now made clear before us—are deeply distressing.
On 26th March 2015 the House of Lords debated a motion “that this House takes note of the Construction (Design and Management) Regulations 2015”. The Bishop of Chester, Rt Revd Peter Forster, spoke briefly on a point of clarification:
The Lord Bishop of Chester: My Lords, I have just one brief question for the Minister on the regulations. Paragraph 20 of the impact assessment refers to financial impact. It states that the deemed approach—which is much the better one, I am sure—will cost £1.3 million to homeowners and £4.6 million to contractors. All my experience is that costs to contractors get handed on to the people for whom they are providing their services, so how do we know that the £4.6 million will not simply be handed on to the homeowners to whom the services are being provided? How can one make that distinction?
The text of the sermon delivered by the Bishop of Leicester, Rt Revd Tim Stevens on 26th March 2015 at the service of reinterment of King Richard III in Leicester Cathedral.
The triple mandate given to the Looking for Richard Project four years ago has broken open not just a car park but a nation’s story.
King Richard has stepped from the pages of history into the fullest glare of the world’s attention. The search has laid to rest half a millennium of mystery surrounding his burial place and revealed that Richard belongs not just to the archaeologists, the chroniclers and the curators, but to all of us.