Week in Westminster, 16th-20th July 2018

This week in the House of Lords bishops spoke in debates on the value of Higher Education, and on referendums. They asked questions about attacks on Christians in Nigeria, persecuted Christian communities in the Middle East, the vocation to service, broadband speeds, and commuter rail services. The Bishop of St Albans’s Registration of Marriage Bill passed its Report Stage in the House of Lords.  Continue reading “Week in Westminster, 16th-20th July 2018”

Bishop of Southwark – challenges to parliamentary democracy posed by referendums

On 19th July Lord Higgins led a debate on the motion, “That this House takes note of the impact on parliamentary democracy in the United Kingdom of the use of referendums.” The Bishop of Southwark, Rt Revd Christopher Chessun, spoke in the debate:

The Lord Bishop of Southwark: My Lords, I, too, congratulate the noble Lord, Lord Higgins, on securing the debate, which, as others have observed, is timely. A man who secured a silver medal in the 440 yards relay in the Commonwealth Games in 1950 knows how to pace himself. I also congratulate the noble Lord, Lord Pickles, on his maiden speech with all its fascinating revelations. I look forward to the maiden speech of the noble Lord, Lord Anderson of Ipswich, shortly.

Of course, I acknowledge that the United Kingdom cherishes a parliamentary democracy. That key point, and all that flows from it, has been powerfully argued by the noble Lord, Lord Higgins. It is the genius of this country that over time we have made use of ancient yet enduring institutions and constantly evolving constitutional practices to serve a thoroughly modern society. The Church was present in the counsels that predated Parliament and the estates that first gathered here. It has witnessed both the supremacy of the other place and the extension of the franchise. We are being looked down upon in stone effigy by those who witnessed Magna Carta, including two archbishops. Continue reading “Bishop of Southwark – challenges to parliamentary democracy posed by referendums”

Bishop of Winchester urges Government to make UK higher education accessible as possible to international students

On 19th July 2018 Lord Norton of Louth led a debate on the motion “That this House takes note of the value to the United Kingdom of higher education as an export.” The Bishop of Winchester, Rt Revd Tim Dakin, spoke in the debate:

The Lord Bishop of Winchester: My Lords, I declare my interests as found in the register, particularly those relating to higher education.

I thank the noble Lord, Lord Norton of Louth, for securing this debate and for outlining some of the key issues, but begin by congratulating the right reverend Prelate the Bishop of Chichester on an excellent maiden speech, with its characteristic blend of deep pastoral concern, learning lightly worn and a keen appreciation of the importance of education. He and I share the pleasure of having a Cathedrals Group university in our dioceses. I am sure that my right reverend friend will contribute greatly to the deliberations of this House. Continue reading “Bishop of Winchester urges Government to make UK higher education accessible as possible to international students”

Bishop of Chichester highlights importance of arts and education in first speech to the Lords

On 19th July 2018 the Bishop of Chichester, Rt Revd Martin Warner, delivered his first speech in the House of Lords, during a debate led by Lord Norton of Louth, “That this House takes note of the value to the United Kingdom of higher education as an export.” The full text of his speech is below, as are the welcoming remarks from other Members of the House:

The Lord Bishop of Chichester (Maiden Speech): My Lords, I begin by recording my thanks for the welcome and encouragement that I have received both today and on so many occasions since being introduced into your Lordships’ House. Continue reading “Bishop of Chichester highlights importance of arts and education in first speech to the Lords”

Bishop of St Albans asks Government what it will do to improve UK’s broadband speed

On 19th July the Bishop of St Albans, Rt Revd Alan Smith, asked a question he had tabled to Government abour broadband speed. The exchanges and follow-up questions from other Members can be seen below:

Broadband Speed
Question

The Lord Bishop of St Albans: To ask Her Majesty’s Government what assessment they have made of the United Kingdom’s place in the annual ranking of global broadband speed and of the impact of low broadband speeds on the United Kingdom’s ability to compete globally after Brexit. Continue reading “Bishop of St Albans asks Government what it will do to improve UK’s broadband speed”

Bishop of Southwark says persecuted Christians in Middle East a humanitarian priority

On 19th July 2018 Baroness Berridge asked the Government “what plans, if any, they have to appoint an Ambassador on Freedom of Religion or Belief.” The Bishop of Southwark, Rt Revd Christopher Chessun, asked a follow-up question:

The Lord Bishop of Southwark: My Lords, I too extend my congratulations and those of the Lords spiritual to the noble Lord, Lord Ahmad, on this appointment. Does he agree that in several countries of the Middle East, where the Christian faith has existed since the time of the apostles—Iraq, Syria and Egypt among them—the scale of persecution renders the condition of the remaining Christian communities one of great humanitarian priority? Continue reading “Bishop of Southwark says persecuted Christians in Middle East a humanitarian priority”

Bishop of Southwark says children should be taught about vocation to serve

On 18th July 2018 Baroness Garden of Frognal asked Her Majesty’s Government “what plans they have to increase knowledge of work skills, careers and jobs amongst primary school children.” The Bishop of Southwark, Rt Revd Christopher Chessun, asked a follow-up question:

The Lord Bishop of Southwark: My Lords, given the importance of public service and volunteering in our nation, will the Minister give priority to communicating the vocation to serve as part of the formation of our young people? Continue reading “Bishop of Southwark says children should be taught about vocation to serve”