The Bishop of Sheffield introduced as member of House of Lords

On 14th October 2013, Steven John Lindsey, Lord Bishop of Sheffield, was introduced and took the oath, supported by the Bishop of Leicester and the Bishop of Wakefield, and signed an undertaking to abide by the Code of Conduct.


The full video of the Bishop’s introduction can be viewed here.


Bishop of Coventry asks Government for update on its support for humanitarian assistance in Syria

On 14th October 2013, the Bishop of Coventry received answers to two written questions on humanitarian assistance in Syria. 

13.10 Bishop of CoventryThe Lord Bishop of Coventry: To ask Her Majesty’s Government what steps they intend to take following the G20 Summit in St Petersburg to ensure unimpeded access for humanitarian workers inside Syria, including safe routes for aid convoys and the lifting of any bureaucratic hurdles imposed by the Assad regime.

Baroness Northover: It is vital that aid reaches those who have been affected by the Syria crisis. Since the G20 summit, the UK has successfully pushed the Security Council to capitalise on its strong chemical weapons resolution by applying its weight and authority to securing unfettered and immediate humanitarian access. On 2 October, the UN Security Council unanimously agreed a Presidential Statement setting out measures to facilitate access for humanitarian relief to all parts of Syria. The Minister of State for International Development, the right honourable Alan Duncan MP, met Baroness Amos of the United Nations Office for the Co-ordination of Humanitarian Affairs on 9 October to discuss these urgent matters.

** Continue reading “Bishop of Coventry asks Government for update on its support for humanitarian assistance in Syria”

Bishops of Derby and Wakefield seek clarification on UK’s position on EU Justice and Home Affairs measures

On 14th October 2013, the Bishop of Derby, the Rt Revd Alastair Redfern, and the Bishop of Wakefield, the Rt Revd Stephen Platten, both received answers to written questions on the European Union’s Justice and Home Affairs Measures.

Bishop of DerbyThe Lord Bishop of Derby: To ask Her Majesty’s Government, further to the Written Answer by Lord McNally on 29 August (WA 318), what guarantees they sought from other member states, prior to their decision of 9 July to opt out of 130 European Union Justice and Home Affairs measures, that the United Kingdom would be able to opt back in to various police and justice measures.

The Minister of State, Ministry of Justice (Lord McNally): Protocol 36 does not provide for guarantees to be obtained from Member States and no Member State would have been able to have given such a guarantee. We therefore did not seek any such guarantees from Member States. However, the issue has been discussed in meetings with our EU counterparts at both Ministerial and official level.

However, Protocol 36 to the Treaties places an obligation on the UK and the Union institutions to, “…seek to re-establish the widest possible measure of participation of the United Kingdom in the acquis of the Union in the area of freedom, security and justice without seriously affecting practical operability of the various parts thereof, while respecting their coherence”. Given this, we are confident that we will be able to reach agreement on a sensible final package of measures that the UK will formally apply to rejoin.

Final agreement is subject to approval by the Council in the case of Schengen measures and the Commission for all others. Continue reading “Bishops of Derby and Wakefield seek clarification on UK’s position on EU Justice and Home Affairs measures”

Second Church Estates Commissioner answers written question on first world war commemorations

On the 10th October 2013 Sir Tony Baldry MP answered a written question from a Mr Kevan Jones concerning the support that the church commissioners will give to the commemorations marking the centenary of the First World War.14.01 CCQ Baldry Continue reading “Second Church Estates Commissioner answers written question on first world war commemorations”

Bishop of Chester calls for review of operation of the Abortion Act in light of abortions on the grounds of gender

On 10th October 2013, Baroness Knight of Collingtree asked Her Majesty’s Government what steps they intend to take to ensure that medical professionals offering to perform abortions on the grounds of gender are prosecuted. The Bishop of Chester, the Rt Revd Peter Forster, asked a supplementary question:

14.03 Bishop of ChesterThe Lord Bishop of Chester: My Lords, does not this case, and in particular the letter from the Director of Public Prosecutions, taken together with the overall fact that, I believe, nearly a quarter of recognised pregnancies are deliberately ended in the womb, call for a comprehensive review of the operation of the Act in its entirety?

Lord Wallace of Tankerness: My Lords, I am certainly cognisant of the strong views that are held about this Act and its operation. One of the clear things emerging from this case is the great need to have clearer guidance for doctors on how to carry out their functions and the tests that are set down in Section 1 of the Abortion Act. I am confident that that will now be addressed. Certainly, the Crown Prosecution Service stands ready to assist in any way to provide that clarity.


MPs Questions to Church Commissioners

In Church Commissioners Question TIme on Thursday 10th October 2013, Sir Tony Baldry MP was asked questions on cathedral congregations, Syria and Egypt, food banks, bats in churches, church credit union and scrap metal.

Tony Baldry MP

Cathedral Congregations

Mr David Nuttall (Bury North) (Con): What lessons the Church of England has learned from the increasing size of congregations attending services at cathedrals.

The Second Church Estates Commissioner (Sir Tony Baldry): I am glad to report that over the past 10 years there has been a 35% increase in average weekly attendance in cathedral services. A team from Cranmer Hall at St John’s college, Durham is conducting a detailed survey of the trends in increased cathedral attendance. Continue reading “MPs Questions to Church Commissioners”

Bishop of Coventry – Camp Ashraf and child detention in Israel and Palestine (Written Answers)

On 10th October 2014, the Bishop of Coventry, the Rt Revd Christopher Cox, received answers to two written questions, on the subjects of Camp Ashraf and the detention of children in Israel and Palestine.

13.10 Bishop of Coventry

Iraq: Camp Ashraf

The Lord Bishop of Coventry: To ask Her Majesty’s Government what response they have received from the government of Iraq to their representation requesting an investigation into the violence at Camp Ashraf on 1 September.

The Senior Minister of State, Department for Communities and Local Government & Foreign and Commonwealth Office (Baroness Warsi): The Government of Iraq has told our Embassy in Baghdad that a committee will conduct a full and open investigation into the attack on Camp Ashraf on 1 September, and that its findings will be made public.

(via Continue reading “Bishop of Coventry – Camp Ashraf and child detention in Israel and Palestine (Written Answers)”