Welcome to the Church of England’s weekly round-up of activity in Parliament.
The State Opening of Parliament and the Queen’s Speech announcing the Government’s legislative proposals for the coming year took place on May 27th. The House of Lords debated the contents of the Gracious Speech over successive days, with several bishops taking part. Their speeches focused on international development, foreign affairs, children and families, education, the environment, housing, constitutional affairs and welfare reform. There were also two maiden speeches – from the Bishops of Leeds and Salisbury. Oral questions were also asked on apprenticeships and humanitarian aid.
In the House of Commons the newly appointed Second Church Estates Commissioner, Rt Hon Caroline Spelman MP, answered her first written question, on the impact of bats in churches.
Thursday 28th May
The Bishop of Coventry spoke about religious freedom and conflict resolution during the debate on the Queen’s Speech.
The Bishop of Southwark spoke in the same debate, about the Middle East and the role of churches in delivering aid.
Monday 1st June
The Bishop of Norwich asked a question about humanitarian aid to refugees in Libya.
The Bishop of Leicester spoke about constitutional reform, devolution, human rights and welfare reform, in the continuing debate on the Queen’s Speech.
The Bishop of Leeds spoke for the first time in the House of Lords, on the economy, devolution and the constitution, during the Queen’s Speech debate.
Tuesday 2nd June
The Bishop of Salisbury spoke for the first time in the House of Lords, on the environment and climate change, during the Queen’s Speech debate.
Wednesday 3rd June
The Second Church Estates Commissioner answered a written question on bats in churches.
The Bishop of Norwich took part in the debate on the Queen’s Speech, focusing on education and media.
The Bishop of Rochester also took part in the debate on the Queen’s Speech, focusing on housing and social housing provision.