General Election 2017: Archbishops issue election letter

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On Saturday 6th May 2017 the Archbishops of Canterbury and York published a pastoral letter to the parishes and chaplaincies of the Church of England, about the General Election of 8th June.

The Archbishops urged people to set aside “apathy and cynicism” and to draw new inspiration from the ancient Christian virtues of “love, trust and hope”.

The three-page letter, intended to be shared in churches from 7th May onwards, encouraged voters to remember Britain’s Christian history and heritage as well as a concern for future generations and God’s creation as they make their decisions.

Following divisions of recent years, it called for reconciliation drawing on shared British values based on cohesion, courage and stability.

It upheld marriage, family and households as the building blocks of society which should be “nurtured and supported” as a “blessing”.

At a time when political differences may be felt more intensely than ever, the Archbishops insisted that Christians’ “first obligation” during the election and beyond is to pray for those standing for office and recognise the personal costs and burdens carried by those in political life and by their families.

But Christians also have a duty to play an active part in the process, they added. Continue reading

Week in Westminster, 3rd- 7th April 2017

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Welcome to the Church of England’s weekly round-up of activity in Parliament.

This week in the House of Lords bishops supported amendments on tax transparency to the Government’s Criminal Finances Bill and on PSHE to the Children and Social Work Bill.  Bishops spoke in debates on eradicating diseases such as leprosy. Questions were asked about bereavement payments, rebuilding Syria, relationships support, prison suicides, in-work poverty, child poverty, the effect of gambling on children, Israel/Palestine and on hospital transport. Bishops also took part in votes on amendments to the Health Services Medical Supplies (Costs) Bill and on a regret motion to the Government’s Higher Education Regulations. The report was published of the House of Lords Committee on the Long-term Sustainability of the NHS, on which the Bishop of Carlisle had served. Continue reading

Week in Westminster, 27th-31st March 2017

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Welcome to the Church of England’s weekly round-up of activity in Parliament.

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This week bishops in the House of Lords asked questions about healthcare in the Palestinian Occupied Territories, the future of Channel 4 as a public service broadcaster and the Motability scheme for disabled people.

They also responded to a Government statement on activating ‘Article 50’ and voted on amendments to the Government’s Technical & Further Education Bill. A bishop also spoke and voted on motions to regret the Government’s proposals to make changes to Personal Independence Payments.

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Week in Westminster, 20th-24th March 2017

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Welcome to the Church of England’s weekly round-up of activity in Parliament.

This week in the House of Lords the Archbishop of Canterbury paid tribute to those who had lost their lives or been injured in Wednesday’s terrorist attack on Westminster, and those who acted as first responders.The Bishop of Leeds and the Speaker’s Chaplain both wrote in response to the events.

The House of Lords did not sit on Wednesday 22nd, but returned the following day. During the week bishops spoke and voted on the Government’s Digital Economy Bill, and in debates on UK-Russian relations and the impact of Brexit on both Gibraltar and the UK’s rural and farming sector. A question was also put about UK aid to hospitals in Gaza. In the House of Commons Rt Hon Dame Caroline Spelman MP answered two written questions, about Church Commissioner salaries and about yoga in church buildings.
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Week in Westminster, 13th-17th March 2017

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Welcome to the Church of England’s weekly round-up of activity in Parliament.

This week in the House of Lords bishops spoke and voted on the Government’s EU (Notification of Withdrawal) Bill,  and the Higher Education and Research Bill. Bishops spoke in debates on the 2017 Budget, end of life care chaplaincy and the Commonwealth and responded to Government statements on National Insurance and on the EU Court ruling on religious symbols.They asked questions about religious freedom in Egypt, Iraq, accessibility of churches and on the work of the Home Office. In the House of Commons Rt Hon Dame Caroline Spelman MP answered two written questions about church land and the cathedral in Peterborough. Continue reading

Week in Westminster, 6th-10th March 2017

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Welcome to the Church of England’s weekly round-up of activity in Parliament.

This week in the House of Lords bishops spoke and voted on the Government’s EU (Notification of Withdrawal) Bill, the Criminal Finances Bill and proposed, spoke and voted on amendments to the  Higher Education and Research Bill. Bishops also spoke in debates on assisted suicide, and a Private Member’s bill on ratifying the Istanbul Convention on gender based violence.They asked questions about Vauxhall-Opel, food banks, unaccompanied child refugees, gender-based violence, fly-tipping, humanitarian aid and minorities returning to Iraq. Continue reading

Week in Westminster, 27th February – 3rd March 2017

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Westminster-abbeyWelcome to the Church of England’s weekly round-up of activity in Parliament.

This week in the House of Lords bishops spoke and voted on the Government’s EU (Notification of Withdrawal) Bill and spoke and voted on amendments to the Government’s Neighbourhood Planning Bill. Bishops spoke in a debate on housing, paid tribute to a former Leader of the House and asked questions about local business rates, North Korea and unaccompanied child refugees. In the House of Commons the Second Church Estates Commissioner answered questions on wi-fi, art exhibitions, the Church in South Sudan and the House of Bishops’ Report on Human Sexuality. She answered written questions on wi-fi, church building repairs, the clergy credit union and procurement. Continue reading