Week in Westminster, 5th-9th November 2018

This week in Parliament the Bishop of St Albans asked questions of the Government about knife crime and British arms sales to Saudi Arabia and the UAE, and the Second Church Estates Commissioner answered questions on clergy carers. Parliament rose on Tuesday evening for the short November recess. Continue reading “Week in Westminster, 5th-9th November 2018”

Bishop of St Albans asks Government about use of British-built military hardware by Saudia Arabia and UAE

On 6th November 2018 the Earl of Sandwich asked the Government “what steps they are taking to help end the famine caused by the war in Yemen.” The Bishop of St Albans, Rt Revd Alan Smith, asked a follow-up question:

The Lord Bishop of St Albans: My Lords, what representations have Her Majesty’s Government made to the KSA and UAE about the use of British-built military hardware, which some people are really concerned could be used for, as is being alleged, war crimes? Continue reading “Bishop of St Albans asks Government about use of British-built military hardware by Saudia Arabia and UAE”

Church Commissioner written answers: Carers

Spelman CCQs120718cOn 5th November 2018 the Second Church Estates Commissioner Rt Hon Dame Caroline Spelman MP answered two written question from Rachael Maskell MP on clergy carers.

Continue reading “Church Commissioner written answers: Carers”

Bishop of St Albans asks Government about tackling rise in knife crime

StAlbansRoMB1On 5th November 2018, the Bishop of St Albans, the Rt Revd Dr Alan Smith, tabled a Private Notice Question ‘To ask Her Majesty’s Government, in the light of four fatal stabbings in London in the last week, what action is being taken to address the dramatic rise in knife crime in that city and in the rest of the United Kingdom.’ The exchanges and supplementary questions from other members can be found below: Continue reading “Bishop of St Albans asks Government about tackling rise in knife crime”

Week in Westminster 29th October – 2nd November

Westminster-abbeyThis week in the House of Lords bishops asked questions about support for children with a parent in prison, the delay in lowering the stakes on betting machines, and on rail fares. They spoke in debates on problem gambling and the impact on family life of reductions in welfare benefits. The Bishop of  Newcastle welcomed the creation of the new North of Tyne combined authority. 

Continue reading “Week in Westminster 29th October – 2nd November”

Bishop of Portsmouth challenges Government to address the two-child limit for welfare claimants

The Lord Bishop of Portsmouth: My Lords, one of the pleasures of your Lordships’ House is the range of views we hear and the expertise of those who express them with integrity and conviction—among them Baroness Hollis speaking from the Bench opposite ours.

The same is true of the Church. In one recent elegant, erudite theological treatise, the noble and right reverend Lord, Lord Williams of Oystermouth, wrote of how the words of an act of worship are pregnant with meaning, but greater significance is often discerned in the silence in between. The same is true in relation to this debate of Monday’s Budget. Its silences were just as significant as the words of the Chancellor, especially for families with children, as they are disproportionately represented among those in poverty. Continue reading “Bishop of Portsmouth challenges Government to address the two-child limit for welfare claimants”

Bishop of Portsmouth leads debate on health consequences of problem gambling

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On the 1st November the Bishop of Portsmouth, Rt Revd Christopher Foster led a short debate in the Lords about gambling addiction, numbers of people being hospitalised and the cost to the NHS. A full trancript of the debate is below:
The Lord Bishop of Portsmouth: To ask Her Majesty’s Government what steps they are taking to (1) reduce the number of problem gamblers hospitalised each year, and (2) protect vulnerable people from gambling addiction.
The Lord Bishop of Portsmouth: My Lords, the right reverend Prelate the Bishop of St Albans has had, at very short notice, to remain in his diocese. He apologises for being unable to be here and to ask this Question. On his behalf and with his permission, I beg leave to ask the Question standing in his name on the Order Paper. He and I are grateful to those participating in this short debate, and look forward to their contributions. There is a seamless transition between the last item of business and this one. The right reverend Prelate’s interest in this subject comes from the people who have contacted him directly to explain how gambling has destroyed their lives. The Church has often campaigned on behalf of victims, and we on these Benches want to contribute towards some solutions.

Continue reading “Bishop of Portsmouth leads debate on health consequences of problem gambling”