Welcome to the Church of England’s weekly round-up of activity in Parliament.
This week the Bishop of Newcastle was Introduced to the Lords and took her seat as the Second female Lord Spiritual, supported by the Archbishop of York and the Bishop of Southwark.
Bishops tabled, spoke to and voted on amendments to the Government’s Welfare Reform and Work Bill (including successfully passing an amendment on child poverty reporting). Bishops also spoke during debates on the Government’s Housing and Planning Bill, local democracy and education and lifelong learning. They also asked questions about private sponsorship for unaccompanied child refugees, the ‘family test’, Christian-Muslim relations, junior doctors’ pay, prepaid energy meters and on forestry. The Bishop of Durham also led debates to approve two Church of England Measures – on safeguarding and diocesan finance.
Monday 25th January
The Bishop of Durham successfully passed an amendment to the Welfare Reform and Work Bill on reporting child poverty. He also spoke in support of an amendment on life chances. The Bishop of St Albans supported an amendment on disability reporting. Bishops took part in Divisions on the Bill.
Tuesday 26th January
The Bishop of Newcastle was Introduced to the Lords and took her seat.
Wednesday 27th January
The Bishop of Worcester asked a question about Christian-Muslim relations.
The Bishop of Chester asked a question about junior doctors’ pay.
The Bishop of Portsmouth spoke to amendments he had tabled to the Welfare Reform and Work Bill on exemptions to the two-child limit. The Bishop of Durham also spoke in favour of the amendments, as well as to others on supported housing.
The Bishop of st Albans supported amendments on the Employment Support Allowance.
Thursday 28th January
The Bishop of St Albans asked a question about prepaid energy meters.
The Bishop of Derby also spoke in a debate on education and lifelong learning.
Friday 29th January
The Bishop of Chelmsford spoke in support of a Bill to raise the age of criminal responsibility.