Week in Westminster 12th – 16th October 2020

Parliament met this week in Westminster and online. Prayers were read at the start of each sitting day in the House of Lords by the Bishop of Oxford.

The Bishop asked Government about emp0loyment initiatives and mental health funding to respond to the problems of resurgent covid-19. He also asked when Government would bring forward reforms to deal with the working practices of Amazon.

Responding to the Prime Minister’s announcement on covid-19 restrictions the Bishop of Durham argued that social and spiritual health needed to be part of Government’s lockdown decision-making.

The Bishop of St Albans spoke in a debate on the Government’s Social Security (Up-rating of Benefits) Bill, calling for the recent increase in universal credit to be made permanent. He also asked questions of Government about the speed of housebuilding, gambling machines on military bases, and the effect of gambling advertising on young people. The Bishop of Coventry asked about the rule of law and freedom of religion in Nigeria.

In the House of Commons MPs put questions to Andrew Selous MP, Second Church Estates Commissioner, on covid-19 and church attendance, baptisms, weddings and funerals, the IICSA report, renting of church premises, and woodland holdings.