Bishop of Coventry asks Government about violence against Hindus in Pakistan

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Bp Coventry May 2015On 29th July 2016 the Bishop of Coventry, Rt Revd Christopher Cocksworth, received a written answer to a questions on violence against Hindus in Pakistan:

The Lord Bishop of Coventry: To ask Her Majesty’s Government what is their assessment of the current level of violence against Hindus in Pakistan.


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Bishop of Coventry asks Government about human rights and religious freedom in Bangladesh

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Bp Coventry May 2015On 29th July 2016 the Bishop of Coventry, Rt Revd Christopher Cocksworth, received written answers to two questions on human rights and religious freedom in Bangladesh:

The Lord Bishop of Coventry:

To ask Her Majesty’s Government what is their assessment of the human rights situation in Bangladesh, especially in relation to the right to freedom of religion or belief. [HL1247]

To ask Her Majesty’s Government what representations they have made to the government of Bangladesh about human rights violations against Hindus and bringing to justice those responsible for the destruction of temples and other places of worship. [HL1248] Continue reading

Church of England Week in Westminster, 18th – 21st July 2016

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Welcome to the Church of England’s weekly round-up of activity in Parliament.

This week bishops in the House of Lords spoke on the Government’s Policing and Crime Bill and Investigatory Powers Bill, the Carbon Budget and in debates on the wellbeing of children in Gaza and the impact of leaving the EU on UK agriculture. Questions were also asked about religious broadcasting and the BBC Charter, unaccompanied children in Calais, delays with single farm payments, rural housing and development on brownfield sites. Bishops also responded to a Government Statement about the political situation in Turkey. The new Bishop of Oxford took his seat in the Lords, following his translation from Sheffield.  Parliament has now risen for the summer recess and will return on the 5th September.

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Bishop of Southwark raises concerns about conditions in Gaza and wellbeing of children

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SouthwarkOn 21st July 2016 Lord Warner led a debate to highlight “the conditions in which Palestinian children are living and the impact on their health and wellbeing.” The Rt Revd Christopher Chessun, Bishop of Southwark, spoke in the debate, drawing on his experiences of visiting Gaza and the West bank. Baroness Mobarik responded for the Government to a number of points made by the Bishop. her remarks can be found below.

The Lord Bishop of Southwark: I, too, express my gratitude to the noble Lord, Lord Warner, for securing this important debate. I speak as patron of the charities Embrace the Middle East and Friends of the Holy Land. I regularly lead pilgrimages to Israel and Palestine and for these past two years I have participated annually as a Church of England bishop in the Vatican Holy Land Coordination visiting Gaza, the West Bank, East Jerusalem and refugee camps in neighbouring countries.

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Bishop of St Albans asks Government about building on brownfield sites

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St Albans 2On the 21st July 2016 Lord Greaves asked Her Majesty’s Government “what progress they are making in encouraging the development of brownfield sites.” Rt Revd Alan Smith, Bishop of St Albans, asked a follow up question:

The Lord Bishop of St Albans: This is not just about housing, important though that is—not least the fact that we are not building enough homes, especially affordable and starter homes; it is also about how we will solve some very difficult, long-term environmental problems relating to brownfield sites. Does the Minister agree that this really is an area where, for example, the housing association sector, with some quite focused work and grants, can make a huge difference both in solving environmental problems and in making a significant contribution to our housing shortage?

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Bishop of St Albans says uncertainty and insecurity faces British farming as a result of Brexit

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St Albans 2On the 21st July 2016 Baroness McIntosh of Pickering held a debate about “the impact on British farmers of the decision to leave the European Union.” Rt Revd Dr Alan Smith, Bishop of St Albans asked the Government to help to cultivate a culture of appreciation among the British public towards British farming. Lord Gardiner of Kimble responded for the Government and his comments can be found below.

The Lord Bishop of St Albans: My Lords, I too thank the noble Baroness, Lady McIntosh, for this debate. I share the delight of other Members of this House that in the recent reshuffle it was neither an exit nor a Brexit but a clear remain vote for the Minister, and not only that but a promotion, so we are delighted and thank him.

Whatever our opinions on Brexit, it is undeniable that British farming faces a period of uncertainty and insecurity. While it is true that the decision to leave the EU will bring some new opportunities for British agriculture in the long term, it is clear that there are substantial challenges ahead. Agriculture is more intimately connected to the European Union than any other UK sector, and the process of unpicking that relationship must be done with utmost care. Continue reading

Bishop of Southwark asks about safety of unaccompanied children in Calais Jungle camp

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BishSouthwarktaxcreditsOn 20th July 2016 Lord Dubs asked Her Majesty’s Government “what is their assessment of the threatened demolition of the Calais Jungle camp and the position of child refugees.” The Bishop of Southwark, Rt Revd Christopher Chessun, asked a follow up question:

The Lord Bishop of Southwark: My Lords, I welcome the noble Baroness to her post. Mindful of the fact that over 200 children went missing when the southern part of the camp was dismantled, will a commitment be given in the case of unaccompanied children to avoid the perils of sudden dispersal? Continue reading