Fortnight in Westminster, 4th – 15th September 2017

Welcome to our round up of activity in Parliament. The House of Commons and the House of Lords sat over the past two weeks, before rising again for the Party Conference recess.

During that time bishops spoke in debates on prison overcrowding, digital understanding, Brexit, and gambling. They supported bills on raising the age of criminal responsibility and on supporting the victims of modern slavery.

Bishops also asked questions about housing, children’s hospices, the Rohingya people in Myanmar, the Banking Standards Commission and school admissions. The Second Church Estates Commissioner answered questions from MPs  on cathedral entry charges and church lavatories, and spoke about Coventry’s bid to be 2021 City of Culture.

Newspapers carried letters and articles from Lords Spiritual on economic, welfare and gambling policies, and the Speaker’s Chaplain was interviewed on BBC2 Newsnight about religion in politics.

Parliament is now in recess again and will return on 9th October.

The Bishops of Southwark, Gloucester and Birmingham were on duty throughout the fortnight, reading prayers at the start of each sitting day.


Tuesday 5th September

The Bishop of Southwark asked about increasing funding for Children’s Hospices.

 

The Bishop of St Albans tabled an urgent question about the Rohingya people in Myanmar.

 

The Second Church Estates Commissioner, answered a written question from John Mann MP about St Wilfrid’s Church, Scrooby. She also spoke in a Commons debate about Coventry’s bid to be the 2021 City of Culture.

The Financial Times published an article by the Archbishop of Canterbury about the need to address economic inequality.

 


 

Wednesday 6th September

The Bishop of Southwark asked Government about the implementation of the Banking Standards Commissions’ recommendations.


 

Thursday 7th September

The Bishop of Southwark asked Government about school admissions and clergy families.

The Bishop of Rochester spoke in a debate on prison overcrowding, citing the impact on mental health. The Bishop of Southwark spoke in the same debate, highlighting the problems of prison staff shortages.

The Bishop of St Albans spoke in a debate on digital understanding and social exclusion.

The Speaker’s Chaplain appeared on BBC2 Newsnight to discuss religion in politics.

 


 

Friday 8th September

The Bishop of St Albans spoke in support of a bill to raise the legal age of criminal responsibility from 10 to 12.

The Bishop of Derby spoke in support of a bill to help victims of modern slavery.

 

 


Tuesday 12th September

The Bishop of Birmingham spoke in a debate on the Government’s Brexit policy position papers.

 


Wednesday 13th September

The Second Church Estates Commissioner answered a written question from Matthew Offord MP about admission charges for cathedrals and abbeys.

The Bishop of Chester responded to a question about the breeding of cats and dogs.

 


Thursday 14th September

The Bishop of Lincoln was introduced to the House of Lords.

The Bishop of St Albans tabled and asked a question about the Government’s housing strategy. He also spoke in a debate about the effect of gambling advertisements on children.

The Times newspaper published a letter from the Bishop of St Albans on the Government review of fixed odds betting terminals.

The Guardian newspaper published a letter from seven bishops about cutbacks to local authority welfare assistance schemes.