Bishop of Oxford on Developing Artificial Intelligence in the UK

On 16th April 2018 the House of Lords’ Select Committee on Artificial Intelligence published its report (which can be read here). The Bishop of Oxford, Rt Revd Steve Croft, was a member of the Committee and published the following blog on his website about the report:

THE ONLY WAY IS ETHICS

Developing Artificial Intelligence in the UK

For the past year, I’ve been a member of the House of Lords’ Select Committee on Artificial Intelligence. The Committee of 13 members received 223 pieces of written evidence and took oral sessions from 57 witnesses over 22 sessions between October and December. It has been a fascinating process. Continue reading “Bishop of Oxford on Developing Artificial Intelligence in the UK”

Bishops highlight consequences of the two-child limit in letter to The Times and blog post

The following letter, expressing concern about the consequences of the two-child limit policy for children and families was signed by sixty bishops (including nineteen Lords Spiritual) and representatives from other denominations and faiths. It appeared in The Times newspaper on 6th April 2018.

The publication of the letter coincided with the release of a report from the End Child Poverty Coalition assessing the impact of the policy, which was introduced in April 2017. The accompanying press release from the Coalition can be accessed here, and the Church of England’s media notice is available here.

The Bishop of Durham, Rt Revd Paul Butler, published a blog on the Church of England’s website on the same day, the full text of which is also reproduced below. 

Two-child limit on Universal Credit

Sir, Today the “two-child limit” policy, which restricts tax credit and universal credit to the first two children in a family, has been in place for a year. The policy is making it harder for parents to achieve a stable and resilient family life. By 2021, 640,000 families will have been affected. Most are low-earning working families, most have three children and some will have made decisions about family size when they were able to support children through earnings alone, but later claimed tax credits or universal credit after bereavement, redundancy, separation, disability, illness or simply low pay. Continue reading “Bishops highlight consequences of the two-child limit in letter to The Times and blog post”

Week in Westminster, 19th – 23rd March 2018

This week in the House of Lords bishops tabled a question on the social harm of fixed-odds betting terminals and spoke and voted on changes to free school meal entitlement for those on low incomes. Bishops spoke in debates on domestic abuse, the Commonwealth, the EU Withdrawal Bill, and paid tribute to a former Leader of the House of Lords. They asked questions about modern slavery, and religious persecution, and took part in votes on a Private Member’s Bill on hereditary peer by-elections. Five Church of England Measures were debated and approved by the House of Lords.

In the House of Commons the Second Church Estates Commissioner answered a question on wi-fi and broadband and use of church buildings. Continue reading “Week in Westminster, 19th – 23rd March 2018”

Week in Westminster, 12th – 16th March 2018

This week in the House of Lords the Bishop of Lincoln delivered his maiden speech during a debate on the economy. Bishops spoke on the economy and asked questions about hate speech online, attacks on Muslims, child sexual exploitation scandals, the Government’s integration strategy, child hunger and school meals, Jerusalem and the Church Lands Bill, and the Church of the Holy Sepulchre.

In the House of Commons the Second Church Estates Commissioner answered questions on wi-fi and broadband and use of church buildings. Continue reading “Week in Westminster, 12th – 16th March 2018”

God is Faithful

Contemplation in the shadow of a carpark

Since my appointment was announced back in December I have felt slightly like the pushmi-pullyu from Dr Doolittle; Facing the Diocese of Exeter as I prepare to leave well and toward the Diocese of London as I take opportunities to meet with people across London. Whilst my confirmation of election means I will formally, legally become Bishop of London, I still have duties to carry out in Devon over the coming weeks until my installation at St Pauls’ Cathedral in May.

I have been very grateful for people’s prayers and good wishes over the last few months and one constant theme from those who have been in contact with me is that ‘God is Faithful’

On the inside of my episcopal ring is engraved Isaiah 43: 1-3   They are the verses which appear around the William Pye font at Salisbury Cathedral where I was Canon Treasurer

But now thus says the

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Week in Westminster, 26th February – 2nd March 2018

This week in the House of Lords bishops spoke in a debate on facial recognition technology and asked questions about disabled access, minimum unit pricing for alcohol, immigration detention, support for students with learning disabilities, and free school meals for children in poverty. Continue reading “Week in Westminster, 26th February – 2nd March 2018”

Time to recognise mothers’ names – Bishop of St Albans and Caroline Spelman

The following article was published in the Church Times on 2 March 2018:

Time to recognise mothers’ names

Our Bill will right an injustice and lessen clergy burdens, say Alan Smith and Caroline Spelman.

THE current system of marriage registration contains a clear and historic injustice. Only the couple’s fathers’ names are formally recorded when the marriage is registered. This practice, unchanged since 1837, means that mothers are systemically overlooked on a day that celebrates the creation of a new family.

We have, therefore, chosen to introduce identical Bills in the House of Lords and the House of Commons to ensure that mothers’ names are equally recognised when marriages are registered (News, 2 February). MPs from all main parties have supported calls for reform, and a 2014 petition asking the Government to include mothers’ names received more than 70,000 signatures.

Continue reading “Time to recognise mothers’ names – Bishop of St Albans and Caroline Spelman”