Autumn Budget 2017 – response from Bishop of Birmingham

Press release from the Church of England website:

Responding today (22nd November 2017) to the Chancellor’s Autumn Budget Statement, the Bishop of Birmingham, Rt. Revd David Urquhart, Convenor of the Lords Spiritual, said:

“The Chancellor’s Budget has gone some way to deal with the immediate problems facing our economy, housing and NHS, but it could have gone much further to help the many at the sharp end struggling to get by.

“Across the country churches support and are in touch with those who experience poverty or financial difficulty as a result of low pay, illness, or debt. The Budget statement provided an opportunity to make a difference to the lives of the most disadvantaged at a time when the cost of living is rising. The country faces substantial financial challenges and the growth forecast downgrades are worrying. But whilst the Chancellor has limited room for manoeuvre, there is more that could have been done to alleviate the situation of those who are struggling to manage. Deficit reduction is important, but should be achieved in ways that promote fairness, generosity, and sustainability. Bishops frequently raise these issues in the House of Lords and in meetings with ministers, and will continue to do so. Continue reading “Autumn Budget 2017 – response from Bishop of Birmingham”

Week in Westminster, 13th-17th November 2017

This week in the House of Lords bishops led debates on rising household debt and the freeze on benefits and spoke in other debates on universal credit and education funding. They asked questions about Zimbabwe, new housing, freedom of religion and belief, Saudi Arabia, human rights, and cathedrals. Continue reading “Week in Westminster, 13th-17th November 2017”

Week in Westminster, 6th-8th November 2017

Parliament sat for two days this week, before rising for the short November recess. In the House of Lords bishops spoke in a debate on children and the internet, and asked a question about technical education in the North East. In the House of Commons the Second Church Estates Commissioner answered a question about the anniversary of the Five Articles of Perth. Continue reading “Week in Westminster, 6th-8th November 2017”

Week in Westminster, 30th October – 3rd November 2017

This week in the House of Lords bishops spoke in debates on strengthening families and in response to Government plans on betting terminals. They asked questions about poverty, NHS charging, benefits freezes, universal credit, children’s and workplace mental health support, welfare of those in police care, and metal theft from churches. Bishops also voted on amendments to the Government’s Financial Guidance and Claims Bill. In the House of Commons the Second Church Estates Commissioner answered a question about church music and St. Sepulchre-without-Newgate Church. Continue reading “Week in Westminster, 30th October – 3rd November 2017”

Cut stake on Fixed Odds Betting Terminals to £2, Bishop of St Albans urges Government

Press release, from the Church of England website:

The Bishop of St Albans, Dr Alan Smith, has responded to the Government’s announcement today of The Triennial Review of Stakes and Prizes.

He said: “The Triennial Review of Stakes and Prizes has proposed a range of possible stakes for fixed-odds betting terminals. While a reduction in stakes is welcome, any stake higher than £2 does not go far enough to address the harm these machines cause to families and communities around the UK. Continue reading “Cut stake on Fixed Odds Betting Terminals to £2, Bishop of St Albans urges Government”

Week in Westminster, 23rd-27th October 2017

Westminster-abbeyThis week in the House of Lords bishops spoke in debates on the liberation of Raqqa, intergenerational fairness, Rohingya refugees, air and water pollution and the Political Activity (Funding and Expenditure) Bill. They asked questions about automatically increasing credit card limits, animal welfare, counter terrorism and private renters with budgetary problems. The Second Church Estates Commissioner hosted a debate on teaching English to refugees and spoke in a debate about modern slavery, highlighting the work of The Clewer Initiative. She also answered questions in the House of Commons on income inequality, the Heritage Lottery Fund, clergy vocations, the oppression of Christians overseas and same-sex marriage.

Continue reading “Week in Westminster, 23rd-27th October 2017”

Sunday Telegraph covers Bishop of St Albans’ marriage registration bill

On Sunday 22nd October, the Sunday Telegraph carried a report by Whitehall Editor Edward Malnick, on the Bishop of St. Albans’ Registration of Marriage Bill. The article is reproduced below:

Church of England bids to put mothers’ names on marriage certificates

Continue reading “Sunday Telegraph covers Bishop of St Albans’ marriage registration bill”