Welcome to the Church of England’s weekly round-up of activity in Parliament.
This week, the Lords Spiritual (Women) Bill successfully completed its passage through Parliament and will shortly receive Royal Assent.
Bishops in the House of Lords took part in debates on credit & debt, the 70th anniversary of the Dresden bombing, and young people leaving foster care.
The bishops also asked questions on humanitarian aid in Iraq, homelessness, company pay, personal independence payments, Syrian refugees and the treatment of non-EU migrants.
Bishops took part in divisions on the Government’s Small Business and Enterprise Bill.
In the House of Commons the final question and answer session of this Parliament took place with the Second Church Estates Commissioner, the Rt Hon Sir Tony Baldry MP, who was thanked for his service to the House.
Monday 9th March
The Bishop of St Albans received answers to two written questions on (i) company pay differentials, and (ii) the impact of relationship breakdown on homelessness.
Tuesday 10th March
The Bishop of St Albans asked a question on humanitarian assistance for the people of Tikrit, Iraq. He also received a written answer to a question on resettlement policy for Syrian refugees.
The Bishop of Leicester asked a question on assessments for 16-17 year olds receiving personal independence payments.
Wednesday 11th March
The Bishop of Chester asked a question on the treatment of non-EU migrants.
The Bishop of Leicester took part in three Divisions of the House on amendments to the Government’s Small Business, Enterprise and Employment Bill during its Report Stage.
Thursday 12th March
During the final House of Commons session of this Parliament for questions to the Church Commissioners, MPs asked the Second Church Estates Commissioner, the Rt Hon Canon Sir Tony Baldry MP, about the House of Bishops’ Pastoral Letter, St George’s Jerusalem, the rural church, faith leaders and citizenship values, church buildings, the living wage, Lichfield Cathedral and ethical investment.
This was the final Church Commissioner questions session for Sir Tony Baldry MP, who retires at the end of this Parliament. Tributes to his work were paid by MPs and by the Speaker.
In the House of Lords, the Lords Spiritual (Women) Bill had its Third Reading and so passed all of its Parliamentary stages.
The Bishop of St Albans gave a speech about the importance of good financial advice services, access to affordable credit and the need for high quality financial education for young people.
The Bishop of Leicester spoke in a debate on Government plans ‘to help young care leavers not able to “stay put” in foster care to make a successful transition to independence’.
The Bishop of Coventry led a debate on the 70th Anniversary of the Dresden bombings of the Second World War.
Friday 13th March
The Bishop of Leicester spoke in support of the Local Government (religious Observances) Bill during its Committee stage.