Week in Westminster, 17th-20th July 2017

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Welcome to our weekly round up of activity in Parliament. This week bishops in the House of Lords led a debate on welcoming refugees, supported an amendment to a Government Bill aimed at alleviating problem debt, and also spoke on the electricity market and transport to and from the island of Lindisfarne. Bishops also asked questions about mental health provision in schools, unaccompanied child refugees, Iraq, South Sudan, Nigeria, Indonesia, religious freedom in Russia, Tajikistan and Yemen, the UNHCR, the 2018 Commonwealth Summit, executions in Saudi Arabia, stalking offences and transport in the north-east .The Second Church Estates Commissioner also answered questions from MPs in the House of Commons on food banks rural church growth. Continue reading

Week in Westminster 10th-14th July 2017

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Welcome to our weekly round up of activity in Parliament. This week bishops in the House of Lords spoke on UK national security, and the challenges facing the NHS after Brexit. Bishops also asked questions about modern slavery, religious freedom in Turkey, the case of Asia Bibi in Pakistan, the Central African Republic, the humanitarian situation in Gaza, Iraqi refugees, rural broadband and foodbank use.The Second Church Estates Commissioner also spoke about the humanitarian situation in Mosul and answered questions on camping in church buildings and bats in churches.  Continue reading

Week in Westminster 3rd-7th July 2017

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Welcome to our weekly round up of activity in Parliament. This week bishops in the House of Lords spoke on international development, the Middle East, Israel and Palestine. The Second Church Estates Commissioner also spoke about Christian persecution worldwide and blasphemy laws in Pakistan. Bishops also asked questions about religious and ethnic persecution in Iran, the detention of the Eritrean Orthodox Patriarch, Palestine, violence towards people on the basis of faith, gender or sexuality, blasphemy laws in Pakistan, spiritual care for those with medically unexplained symptoms and children’s mental health care. Continue reading

Week in Westminster 26th-30th June 2017

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Welcome to our weekly round up of activity in Parliament. This week eight bishops spoke during the four days of debate on the Queen’s Speech, raising issues about Brexit, mental health, character education, vulnerable young people, poverty, domestic violence, farming, the Northern Powerhouse and industrial strategy. The Bishop of St Albans’ Marriage Registration Bill was introduced and had its first reading. Bishops also asked questions about North Korea, Syrian refugees, Gaza and religious freedom in Indonesia. A bishop responded to a Government statement on the Grenfell Tower fire.

 

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Week In Westminster, 21st-22nd June 2017

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Parliament returned this week after the General Election. Nine bishops attended the State Opening of Parliament to hear the Queen’s Speech. The Archbishop of Canterbury spoke during the first day of debate on the Speech and also responded to a Government statement on the Grenfell Tower fire. 

The Bishop of Bristol, Rt Revd Mike Hill, was on duty throughout the week, reading prayers at the start of each sitting day.

 

Wednesday 21st June

The Archbishops of Canterbury and York and the Bishops of Birmingham, Durham, Newcastle, Oxford, St Albans, Southwark and Winchester all attended the State Opening of Parliament.

The Bishop of Bristol led the House in a minute’s silence before Prayers, to remember the victims of recent tragedies.


Thursday 22nd June

The Archbishop of Canterbury spoke during the first day of debate on the Queen’s Speech, on foreign policy, Brexit and shared values. He also responded to a Government statement on the Grenfell Tower fire.

State Opening of Parliament 2017

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On 21st June 2017 Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II opened Parliament. Amongst those members in attendance were the Archbishops of Canterbury and York and the Bishops of Birmingham, Durham, Newcastle, Oxford, St Albans, Southwark and Winchester. 

This picture was taken of the Lords Spiritual in the Bishops’ Robing Room, in their formal State Opening robes, prior to entering the Lords Chamber.:

Lords Spiritual left-right: St Albans, Durham, Canterbury, Winchester, York, Birmingham, Newcastle, Southwark

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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