This week in Parliament the Bishop of St Albans asked a question to Government on plans to tackle antisemitism, and spoke in a debate on the importance of planting native tree species. He also asked questions about disability employment and technology, and the need for better education and media representation to counter Islamophobia. He received written answers to questions on the gambling industry and sport.
The Bishop of Worcester spoke in support of the Adoption Support Fund and the needs of adopted children and their families.
The Bishop of Winchester asked Government about pauper funerals and bereavement support, and received an answer to a written question on college financial monitoring.
The Bishop of Oxford spoke in a debate on the full implications of decision-making and prediction by algorithm in the public sector.
The Bishop of Durham received a written answer on Government plans to reduce child poverty and to questions about the welfare of older people and children in Rwanda. He asked a question about the construction of HS2.
The Bishop of Southwark received written answers to five questions, on Israel & Palestine, peace, East Jerusalem and the West Bank.
The Bishop of Leeds asked Government for a strategy to resurrect derelict Victorian mill buildings.
The Second Church Estates Commissioner Andrew Selous answered questions from Jim Shannon MP on carbon emissions, religious freedom, strategic development funding, church planting, green investments, the Democratic Republic of Congo and South Sudan, the Primates’ Meeting, new technologies, marriage and family life. Continue reading “Week in Westminster, 10th-14th February 2020”
On 13th February 2020 the Lords debated a motion from Lord Russell of Liverpool, “That this House takes note of the All-Party Parliamentary Group for Adoption and Permanence’s Report Investing in families: the Adoption Support Fund beyond 2020, published in July 2019”. The Bishop of Worcester, Rt Revd John Inge, spoke in the debate, drawing on his own family experience:
The Lord Bishop of Worcester: My Lords, I add my congratulations and thanks to the noble Lord, Lord Russell of Liverpool, for securing this debate. I declare an interest: mine is one of the 50,000 or so families who have received support from the adoption support fund. I am immensely grateful for that support. It came at a very difficult time after the death of my wife, my children’s adoptive mother, six years ago, when they were very young. It was invaluable. That is the most important thing I have to say this afternoon. It is a privilege to be able to speak from first-hand experience as an adoptive parent and as someone who has benefited immeasurably from the ASF.
Continue reading “Bishop of Worcester praises Adoption Support Fund and highlights needs of adopted children”
On 13th February 2020 the House of Lords debated a motion from Lord Kinnoull, “that this House takes note of the threats posed by pests and diseases to native trees in the United Kingdom.” The Bishop of St Albans, Rt Revd Alan Smith, spoke in the debate:
The Lord Bishop of St Albans: My Lords, I too thank the noble Earl, Lord Kinnoull, for obtaining the debate and the noble and learned Lord, Lord Cope of Craighead, for his excellent introduction. For these Benches, and indeed for many Members of your Lordships’ House, trees have a special significance. They feature in the first chapter of the holy scriptures in Genesis and they reappear in the final chapter of the Bible in the Book of Revelation chapter 22, where we find that enigmatic phrase:
“the leaves of the tree are for the healing of the nations.”
Continue reading “Bishop of St Albans on the importance of planting more trees and native species”
On 13th February 2020 Baroness Ludford asked the Government “what recent assessment they have made of the services offered by public and private sector organisations to bereaved people.” The Bishop of Winchester, Rt Revd Tim Dakin, asked a follow-up question:
The Lord Bishop of Winchester: My Lords, the number of pauper public health funerals has risen by 70% since 2015. Churches perform half of all funerals in the United Kingdom and offer ongoing bereavement support to all. Recognising that other faiths also offer bereavement support, will the Government commit to encouraging local public health departments to work with faith communities to improve bereavement support and ensure that every person receives adequate funeral provision that includes care for the bereaved, who are often excluded?
Continue reading “Bishop of Winchester asks Government about pauper funerals and bereavement support”
On 13th February 2020 Lord Sheikh asked the Government “what progress they have made towards the adoption of a formal definition of Islamophobia.” The Bishop of St Albans, Rt Revd Alan Smith, asked a follow-up question:
The Lord Bishop of St Albans: My Lords, we on these Benches deplore all attacks on any religious groups and we note particularly the huge rise in the deeply concerning issue of attacks on Muslims. The Minister will be aware of the media reports on Imam Asim of Makkah mosque in Leeds and his comments on free speech. Does the Minister agree with me and the most reverend Primate the Archbishop of Canterbury that Muslims and all religious groups deserve better media? Does he further agree that, alongside law, we need to seriously address this through education?
Continue reading “Bishop of St Albans deplores attacks on Muslims, calls for better education”