Neighbourhood Planning Bill: Archbishop of York supports amendment on community value of pubs


york-170117On 28th February 2017 the House of Lords considered the Government’s Neighbourhood Planning Bill at Report Stage. The Archbishop of York, Most Revd and Rt Hon John Sentamu, spoke in favour of an amendment to ensure planning permission had to be granted for a change of use for pub buildings. The amendment was passed at a vote. Continue reading

Bishop of Peterborough asks whether Government is addressing China’s North Korean refugee policy


14.02 PeterboroughOn 28th February, Lord Alton of Liverpool asked the Government,  in the light of the sanctions imposed by China against North Korea following the assassination of Kim Jong-nam and the recent ballistic missile test, whether they will call in the North Korean Ambassador. The Bishop of Peterborough, the Rt Revd Donald Allister, asked a follow up question about the Government’s engagement with China over their policy to return North Korean refugees to the country.  Continue reading

EU (Notification of Withdrawal) Bill: Bishop of Newcastle highlights contribution of Newcastle University to North East economy


Newcastle 8On 27th February 2017, Labour Peer Baroness Quin moved an amendment to the Government’s EU (Notification of Withdrawl) Bill, requiring Government to undertake an impact assessment of the impact of Brexit on the North-East of England. The Bishop of Newcastle, the Rt Revd Christine Hardman, spoke to the amendment to highlight the contribution of Newcastle University to the North-East economy. The amendment was later withdrawn after debate.

Bishop of Newcastle: My Lords, I declare an interest as a member of the court of Newcastle University. The amendment tabled by the noble Baroness, Lady Quin, and the noble Lord, Lord Shipley, asks for an impact assessment of the effect of Brexit on the economy of the north-east. When we think about that economy, perhaps our thoughts turn first to the EU funding that the economy receives and then to the manufacturing sector. But the city of Newcastle is deeply enriched by the presence of two first-class universities, and there are 50,000 students in Newcastle. Tomorrow a report will be released to the media which details the extraordinary contribution of Newcastle University to the economy of the north-east. Continue reading

Bishop of Newcastle pays tribute to late Lord Waddington


Newcastle 3On Monday 27th February 2017, the Bishop of Newcastle, the Rt Revd Christine Hardman, paid tribute on behalf of the BIshops’ Benches to Lord Waddington, the former Leader of the House, who had died the previous week.

The Lord Bishop of Newcastle: My Lords, I would like to be associated with the comments already made about the late Lord Waddington, and to add a few words of tribute on behalf of these Benches. Although I came to the House shortly after Lord Waddington retired, I know that his Christian faith was a source of great comfort and inspiration to him. Continue reading

Bishop of Durham asks Government if it will accept unaccompanied child refugees in next financial year


durham-230117On 27th February 2017 the Bishop of Durham, Rt Revd Paul Butler, received a written answer to a question about unaccompanied child refugees.

The Lord Bishop of Durham: To ask Her Majesty’s Government whether they will accept unaccompanied child refugees under section 67 of the Immigration Act 2016 in the financial year 2017–18. Continue reading

Week in Westminster, 20th-24th February 2017


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

This week in the House of Lords bishops spoke on the Government’s EU (Notification of Withdrawal) Bill and gave support to the Homelessness Reduction Bill. They also spoke and voted on amendments to the Government’s Neighbourhood Planning Bill and Digital Economy Bill. Bishops spoke in a debate on bereavement support payments and asked questions about indeterminate prison sentences, mental health, air pollution, protests in West Papua, rail services, the benefit cap, development aid, Burma and Iraq. In the House of Commons the Second Church Estates Commissioner answered a questions on security. Continue reading