On the 18th January 2016 Baroness Butler-Sloss asked the Government, on behalf of Lord Harries of Pentregarth, “what is their response to the report of the Commission on Religion and Belief in British Public Life Living with Difference published on 7 December”. Rt Revd Paul Butler, Bishop of Durham, asked a supplementary question.
The Lord Bishop of Durham: My Lords, does the Minister agree that the recommendation around religious literacy is of particular note? Does she recognise that, at local and national government levels, there is a serious problem with religious literacy that the Government may seek to help address?
Baroness Williams of Trafford: The right reverend Prelate makes a very valid point, which was one of the recommendations of the report. I am very happy to work with him and other organisations and faiths to see whether we can make progress in this area.
Lord Popat (Con): Does my noble friend the Minister agree that the Prayers we have here before our business begins are not just energising but a stark reminder that we are here to represent something bigger than ourselves and our respective political parties? Therefore, the Prayers are not just complementary to other faiths but very much inclusive of them?
Baroness Williams of Trafford: My noble friend makes a very good point. When I stand at Prayers, my noble friend is often there, as are members of other religions and myself as a Catholic. I commend the fact that the Bishops conduct the Prayers in such an inclusive way. That is why I think so many Members of your Lordships’ House attend Prayers, as it is a lovely time of reflection.