Bishop of Derby supports Bill to help victims of modern slavery

On the 8th September 2017 the House of Lords debated the Modern Slavery (Victim Support) Bill [HL], a private member’s bill from Lord McColl. The Bishop of Derby, Rt Revd Alastair Redfern, spoke in support of the Bill:

The Lord Bishop of Derby: My Lords, I too thank the noble Lord, Lord McColl, for his persistence and inspiration in keeping this on the agenda and bringing this Bill before us today.

I declare a number of interests. I was on the Select Committee that helped to craft the legislation, which was a good foundation—but all the evidence shows, and some of us realised this at the time, that it needs to be developed with further investment, as we learned from victims and the adjustments of the police and other statutory authorities. I declare an interest, too, as chairman of the advisory panel of the Independent Anti-slavery Commissioner, to whom the noble Lord, Lord McColl, referred and who is doing some amazing work, helping us to see where the foundations can be strengthened and developed. Continue reading “Bishop of Derby supports Bill to help victims of modern slavery”

Bishop supports Bill to raise legal age of criminal responsibility from 10 to 12

On 8th September 2017 the House of Lords debated the Age of Criminal Responsibility Bill [HL], a private members’ bill from Lord Dholakia that would raise the age of criminal responsibility in England and Wales from 10 to 12. The Bishop of St Albans, Rt Revd Alan Smith, supported the Bill:

The Lord Bishop of St Albans: My Lords, I add my thanks to those of other noble Lords to the noble Lord, Lord Dholakia, for his tireless work in this area, bringing it before the House. These issues have been debated pretty exhaustively and many of the main points have already been raised, so I will not repeat them. The criminal offending of children is of course a gravely important issue that has profound implications for the child and their future but also more widely for the victims, and of course we have to balance that, as has been pointed out, with their communities. Continue reading “Bishop supports Bill to raise legal age of criminal responsibility from 10 to 12”

Financial Guidance and Claims Bill: Bishop of Newcastle supports amendment to help families struggling with debt

The Government’s Financial Guidance and Claims Bill was considered in Committee in the House of Lords on 19th July 2017. The Bishop of Newcastle, Rt Revd Christine Hardman, supported an amendment to the Bill to enable families in financial difficulty to receive a breathing space for repayment of debts:

The Lord Bishop of Newcastle: My Lords, I, too, rise to speak in support of Amendment 41. I declare an interest as a vice-president of the Children’s Society.

In the area covered by the Diocese of Newcastle, the Children’s Society data tell me that there are more than 42, 000 children living in poverty and that almost 18,000 children from almost 16,000 families are living with the blight of problem debt. Last year, I read a report in the New York Times on a large, randomised trial involving 21,000 people on the efficacy of various aid mechanisms to bring people out of poverty and debt. What emerged surprised the researchers. It emerged that one key mechanism is more effective than any other, and that mechanism is hope. Families that are stressed and trapped in poverty and debt can feel real hopelessness that becomes entirely self-fulfilling. Give people a reason to hope, and it can make an extraordinary and real difference. Continue reading “Financial Guidance and Claims Bill: Bishop of Newcastle supports amendment to help families struggling with debt”

Bishop introduces Bill on Marriage Registration

On 29th June 2017 the Marriage Registration Bill was introduced. The Bill is sponsored by the Bishop of St Albans. Its text can be read here. It would enable mother’s names to be added to marriage certificates and update the technological processes of registering marriages. Continue reading “Bishop introduces Bill on Marriage Registration”

Votes: Health Service Medical Supplies (Costs) Bill

On 5th April, a vote took place on the Health Service Medical Supplies (Costs) Bill. The Bishop of St Albans took part. Continue reading “Votes: Health Service Medical Supplies (Costs) Bill”

Children and Social Work Bill: Bishop of Peterborough supports amendments on relationships and sex education

14.02 PeterboroughOn 4th April 2017 the House of Lords considered amendments made by MPs to the Government’s Children and Social Work Bill. Government Minister Lord Nash proposed that the Lords accept an amendment to provide compulsory relationships education at primary schools. The Bishop of Peterborough, the Rt Rev Donald Allister, spoke in favour of the amendment, which was accepted by the House.

The Lord Bishop of Peterborough: My Lords, I am very happy indeed to support government Amendments 12 and 13 on relationships and sex education and on PSHE. Compulsory provision and statutory guidance are necessary in these areas. The Church of England welcomes this and we very much look forward to the consultation.

We particularly welcome the decision to reverse the name and put “relationships” rather than “sex” at the heart of this policy. This is not about just sex or sex education. It puts sex in its proper context of committed and consensual relationships. But it is also about friendships, resilience, good disagreement and living with difference. It is about tackling bullying, self-image, social media, advertising and so much else. It is about supporting children and preparing them for adult life.

Continue reading “Children and Social Work Bill: Bishop of Peterborough supports amendments on relationships and sex education”

Criminal Finances Bill: Bishop of Peterborough supports amendment on tax transparency

14.02 PeterboroughOn the 3rd April 2017, the House of Lords considered the Government’s Criminal Finances Bill in Committee. Baroness Stern moved an amendment  requiring public registers of beneficial ownership of companies in the Overseas Territories. The Bishop of Peterborough, the Rt Rev Donald Allister, spoke in favour of the amendment, which was withdrawn after the debate


The Lord Bishop of Peterborough: My Lords, I support the amendment. I also support the Bill and I am grateful for it.

I particularly support and follow a point made by the noble Baroness, Lady Stern, about this being a moral issue. I refer to Amendment 167. This time last year, shortly after the publication of the Panama Papers, there was a question in the House about this issue. I asked a supplementary and was assured by the then Minister that this was seen by the Government as a moral issue. It is important that we hold to that. Continue reading “Criminal Finances Bill: Bishop of Peterborough supports amendment on tax transparency”