On 30 November 2015 the House of Lords considered the Government’s Enterprise Bill at its Report Stage. Votes were held on three amendments and the Bishop of Chester, Rt Revd Peter Forster, took part in all three divisions.
Lord Bishop of Coventry: To ask Her Majesty’s Government what assessment they have made of the humanitarian conditions inside Camp Liberty.
Lord Bishop of St Albans: To ask Her Majesty’s Government how many children were being home educated in each of the years 2010 to 2014 inclusive.
On the 30th November 2015 the Church Commissioners answered two written questions from Mark Hendrick MP on the Lords’ Prayer cinema advert.
Mr Mark Hendrick (Preston): To ask the right hon. Member for Meriden, representing the Church Commissioners, in which (a) local and (b) national newspapers the Church of England plans to place advertisements with the text of the Lord’s Prayer.
On 30th November 2015 the Second Church Estates Commissioner, Rt Hon Caroline Spelman MP, answered a written question from Mark Hendrick MP on vandalism of graves in churchyards.
Mrs Caroline Spelman: The information requested is not retained at the national level and would incur a disproportionate cost to produce.
Wilful damage and theft of monumental stonework causes much emotional and financial distress. The Church is continuing to work with local Dioceses, police, insurers and local communities to improve security and awareness.
Welcome to the Church of England’s weekly round-up of activity in Parliament.
This week bishops in the House of Lords responded to the Prime Minister’s statement on Syria and military action and spoke on freedom of speech in universities, community relations and counter-terrorism, and the impact of loneliness on health and well-being. Questions were asked about the Government’s defence review, support for rural small businesses and food banks. The Bishop of Chelmsford raised in the House the decision by Digital Cinema Media not to screen an advert by the Church of England.
Monday 23rd November
The Bishop of Leeds responded to the Government’s statement on the Defence and Security Review.
Tuesday 24th November
The Bishop of St Albans asked about support for rural small businesses.
Wednesday 25th November
The Bishop of Chelmsford asked a question he had tabled on the decision of Digital Cinema Media not to screen an advert from the Church of England.
Thursday 26th November
The Bishop of Ely spoke in a debate on freedom of speech at universities.
The Bishop of Rochester spoke in a debate about counter-terrorism and community cohesion.
The Bishop of Bristol spoke in a debate about public health, highlighting the impact of loneliness and isolation.
On 26th November 2015 the House of Lords debated a motion from Lord Crisp, “that this House takes note of the case for building a health-creating society in the United Kingdom where all sectors contribute to creating a healthy and resilient population.” The Bishop of Bristol, Rt Revd Mike Hill, spoke in the debate:
The Lord Bishop of Bristol: My Lords, I, too, am grateful to the noble Lord, Lord Crisp, for introducing this debate and this very big idea into the Chamber. Already we start to see that the breadth of material that needs to be thought about in relation to creating a healthy society is indeed vast. I sat here for some of the debate thinking were I the Minister—God forbid—how I might respond to such a plethora of concerns that have been articulated. I wish him well with that.
Of course, what we cannot do, as several noble Lords have noted, is expect the Government to solve this on their own, although I think there is a major challenge involved in this for government. That is what I would call the alignment of policy—how do you align policy over a very wide range of areas in life in such a way that human well-being emerges from it?