The Lord Bishop of Durham: To ask Her Majesty’s Government, further to the answer by Lord Bates on 19 July (HL Deb, cols 1616–17), whether humanitarian assistance to (1) the 700,000 in need of food aid, and (2) the three million in need of humanitarian aid, in Burundi will continue to be made available through organisations such as Tearfund, Christian Aid and Oxfam. Continue reading “Bishop of Durham asks about humanitarian and food aid to Burundi”
The Lord Bishop of Southwark: To ask Her Majesty’s Government what steps they are taking in Iraq and Syria to discharge the responsibility set out by Mark Field MP, Minister of State at the Foreign and Commonwealth Office, on 4 July (HC Deb Col. 21WH) for “protecting and upholding the rights of Christian communities across the globe.” Continue reading “Bishop of Southwark asks Government about protection of Christians in Iraq and Syria”
Welcome to our weekly round up of activity in Parliament. This week bishops in the House of Lords led a debate on welcoming refugees, supported an amendment to a Government Bill aimed at alleviating problem debt, and also spoke on the electricity market and transport to and from the island of Lindisfarne. Bishops also asked questions about mental health provision in schools, unaccompanied child refugees, Iraq, South Sudan, Nigeria, Indonesia, religious freedom in Russia, Tajikistan and Yemen, the UNHCR, the 2018 Commonwealth Summit, executions in Saudi Arabia, stalking offences and transport in the north-east. The Second Church Estates Commissioner answered questions from MPs in the House of Commons on food banks and rural church growth. Parliament rose on Thursday for its summer recess and will return in September. Continue reading “Week in Westminster, 17th-20th July 2017”
On 20th July 2017 the House of Lords debated a motion from Lord Berkeley “that this House takes note of the transport needs of remote island communities in England.” The Bishop of Newcastle, Rt Revd Christine Hardman, spoke about the Holy Island of Lindisfarne in Northumberland:
The Lord Bishop of Newcastle: My Lords, islands are special places and I am so grateful to the noble Lord, Lord Berkeley, for this debate and for learning, in his speech and those which have followed, so much more about the context of the Isles of Scilly. I discovered the Isles of Scilly only a few years ago. They are magical but after the boat trip over there, I understood why you can buy fridge magnets saying “I survived the ‘Scillonian’”.
Today, it is the transport needs of another remote island community I wish to speak about: the Holy Island of Lindisfarne in Northumberland. It is a very special place in my diocese. The island has been designated as an area of outstanding natural beauty. There is a national nature reserve covering 3,500 hectares. It has a rich historical and spiritual heritage including Lindisfarne Castle, owned by the National Trust, and Lindisfarne Priory, managed by English Heritage. The Holy Island of Lindisfarne is of course where St Aidan founded his monastery in the 7th century and based his mission to the people of Northumbria. Continue reading “Bishop of Newcastle speaks about transport links to Holy Island of Lindisfarne”
On the 20th July 2017 the Second Church Estates Commissioner, Dame Caroline Spelman MP answered two oral questions to the Church Commissioners in the House of Commons, on food poverty and on growing the rural church. A transcript of the questions and follow-up questions by MPs on other issues, are reproduced below.
The right hon. Member for Meriden, representing the Church Commissioners, was asked
Seventy-five per cent. of churches collect food, 38% provide volunteers, 29% help to manage a food bank, and 21% distribute food vouchers. Churches also work in partnership with organisations such as Citizens Advice and Christians Against Poverty to tackle the underlying causes of food poverty.
On 20th July 2017 in the House of Lords Baroness Quin asked the Government “what are their priorities for transport investment in the North East of England over the next two years”. The Bishop of Newcastle, Rt Revd Christine Hardman, asked a follow up question:
The Lord Bishop of Newcastle: My Lords, the proposed expansion of the Tyne and Wear Metro by the North East Combined Authority will provide very important greater access for rural towns and villages and opportunities for local rail integration. How will the Government support the North East Combined Authority to make this planned extension a reality? I will be grateful to hear from the Minister. Continue reading “Bishop of Newcastle asks Government about expansion plans for Tyne and Wear Metro”
The Lord Bishop of St Albans: To ask Her Majesty’s Government what action they are taking to improve recognition among criminal justice professionals of the difference between stalking and harassment; and whether they are planning to introduce stalking protection orders. Continue reading “Bishop of St Albans asks Government about protection from stalking and harassment”