Week in Westminster, 18th – 21st May 2020

Parliament met this week, in Westminster and online.

The Bishop of Portsmouth began each virtual sitting day in the Lords with prayers, and asked Government about coronavirus tests for the armed forces, the contact tracing app trials on the Isle of Wight, housing for the homeless, and setting up a Royal Commission on social care.

Throughout the week Lords Spiritual  raised the impact of COVID-19 across a range of policy areas: The Archbishop of Canterbury asked about partnership with faith groups in delivering support to refugee camps, the Bishops of London and Newcastle asked about mental health support for NHS workers, and the right to remain of NHS migrant workers.  The Bishop of Winchester asked about local discretion in reopening schools, and student courses . The Bishops of Durham and St Albans spoke in a debate about the international response.

In the House of Commons the Second Church Estates Commissioner Andrew Selous MP answered questions from MPs on the clergy discipline process, and the effects of coronavirus on access to worship, family life, funerals, schools, and hospital chaplaincy. He answered written questions from MPs on coronavirus and the reopening of churches, including for weddings, baptisms and funerals,

The Bishop of St Albans also asked Government about demolition of churches and arrest of Christians in China.

Monday 18th May

The Bishop of Portsmouth asked Government about continued housing for homeless people after coronavirus restrictions. He also asked about the contact tracing app trials on the Isle of Wight.

The Bishops of Durham and St Albans spoke in a debate about the international response to Covid-19.

The Bishop of Newcastle received an answer to a written question on mental health support for the NHS workforce.

The Bishop of St Albans received an answer to a written question on demolition of churches and arrest of Christians in China.

Second Church Estates Commissioner Andrew Selous MP responded to written questions on the reopening of churches, and the effects of coronavirus in the Lichfield and Hereford dioceses.


Tuesday 19th May

Second Church Estates Commissioner Andrew Selous MP responded to questions from MPs in the Commons chamber, on the clergy discipline process, and the effects of coronavirus on access to worship, family life, funerals, schools, and hospital chaplaincy.

He also responded to written questions on the reopening of churches, including for weddings, baptisms and funerals, and church attendance.

The Bishop of Portsmouth asked Government about coronavirus testing for armed forces.


Wednesday 20th May

The Archbishop of Canterbury asked about partnership with faith groups in delivering support to refugee camps.

 

The Bishop of Portsmouth asked about setting up a Royal Commission on social care.

The Bishop of Winchester asked about local discretion in decisions to reopen schools, and also about students enrolling in courses with a public service focus.

The Bishop of London received an answer to a written question on the right to remain of NHS migrant workers.


Thursday 21st May

The Bishop of London asked about mental health support for NHS workers.


Friday 15th May

Parliament was in recess.