In Church Commissioners Question TIme on Thursday 10th October 2013, Sir Tony Baldry MP was asked questions on cathedral congregations, Syria and Egypt, food banks, bats in churches, church credit union and scrap metal.
Mr David Nuttall (Bury North) (Con): What lessons the Church of England has learned from the increasing size of congregations attending services at cathedrals.
The Second Church Estates Commissioner (Sir Tony Baldry): I am glad to report that over the past 10 years there has been a 35% increase in average weekly attendance in cathedral services. A team from Cranmer Hall at St John’s college, Durham is conducting a detailed survey of the trends in increased cathedral attendance. Continue reading “MPs Questions to Church Commissioners”
On 10th October 2014, the Bishop of Coventry, the Rt Revd Christopher Cox, received answers to two written questions, on the subjects of Camp Ashraf and the detention of children in Israel and Palestine.
Iraq: Camp Ashraf
The Lord Bishop of Coventry: To ask Her Majesty’s Government what response they have received from the government of Iraq to their representation requesting an investigation into the violence at Camp Ashraf on 1 September.
The Senior Minister of State, Department for Communities and Local Government & Foreign and Commonwealth Office (Baroness Warsi): The Government of Iraq has told our Embassy in Baghdad that a committee will conduct a full and open investigation into the attack on Camp Ashraf on 1 September, and that its findings will be made public.
(via Parliament.uk) Continue reading “Bishop of Coventry – Camp Ashraf and child detention in Israel and Palestine (Written Answers)”
On 9th October 2013, the Bishop of Derby, the Rt Revd Alastair Redfern, received an answer to six written questions on the subject of the national civil service volunteering scheme.
The Lord Bishop of Derby: To ask Her Majesty’s Government how many civil servants are participating in the national civil service volunteering scheme, broken down by region.
To ask Her Majesty’s Government which government ministries and departments are participating in the national civil service volunteering scheme.
To ask Her Majesty’s Government how they intend to measure the success or otherwise of the civil service volunteering scheme.
To ask Her Majesty’s Government what, if any, criteria they apply to placements offered as part of the civil service volunteering scheme.
To ask Her Majesty’s Government what proportion of the organisations participating in the civil service volunteering scheme are (1) voluntary groups, (2) community groups, and (3) social enterprise organisations.
To ask Her Majesty’s Government how many of the voluntary groups, community groups and social enterprise organisations participating in the civil service volunteering scheme have received government funding.
Lord Wallace of Saltaire: The Government encourages all staff to undertake volunteering which can be of benefit to the local community but also allows civil servants to gain valuable insight and career skills. However, there is no formal national civil service volunteering scheme.
Due to the number of civil servants, and the amount who volunteer in their own time, it is not possible to know how many organisations which have worked with civil servants are voluntary groups, community groups or social enterprise organisations which have received government funding.
On the 8th October 2013, Lord Dykes asked Her Majesty’s Government what assessment they have made of the prospects for a United Nations-led settlement in Syria supported by the European Union, the United States, Russia and China.
The Lord Bishop of Oxford: It is well known that to have a peace process that works all the relevant parties must be gathered together, not just the moderates. Can the Minister assure us that, at Geneva II, the more extreme nations will be involved, including Iran, Saudi Arabia and so on, as well as the opposition groups, both internal and external? Will they all be there?
The Senior Minister of State, Department for Communities and Local Government & Foreign and Commonwealth Office (Baroness Warsi): The right reverend Prelate may be aware that the Geneva communiqué was for the first time adapted and supported by the UN Security Council as part of this resolution. That effectively means that the opposition and the regime have committed to being part of the Geneva II process. Which other states are part of that process depends very much on what they would be prepared to endorse, and whether they would be prepared to agree to the Geneva communiqué. At this stage, Iran has not done that.
On the 12th September 2013 Sir Tony Baldry MP answered a written question from Chris Ruane concerning the employment of persons directly or indirectly employed by the Church Commissioners on a zero hour contract Continue reading “Second Church Estates Commissioner answers written question on zero hour contracts”
On 9th September 2013, the Bishop of Bristol, the Rt Revd Mike Hill, received an answer to two written question on the Liverpool Care Pathway.
The Lord Bishop of Bristol: To ask Her Majesty’s Government what plans they have to ensure that quality statement six (holistic support—spiritual and religious) of the National Institute for Health and Care Excellence’s 2011 quality standard for end of life care for adults is embedded in the end of life care proposals to replace the Liverpool Care Pathway.
To ask Her Majesty’s Government whether the Healthcare Chaplaincy is considered a “specialist service”, as referred to in recommendation 22 of the Independent Review of the Liverpool Care Pathway.
The Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State, Department of Health (Earl Howe): The Government’s intention is for the Liverpool Care Pathway to be phased out over the next 6-12 months in favour of an individual approach to end of life care for each patient, with a personalised care plan backed up by condition-specific guidance and a named senior clinician responsible for its implementation.
Spiritual and religious support is an essential part of first-class end of life care. However we have yet to set out the specific responses to the Independent Review’s recommendations. Over the coming weeks, the Department will be working with partner organisations, stakeholders and charities across health and care to inform a full system-wide response to the Review’s recommendations later in the autumn.
On 4th September 2013 Sir Tony Baldry MP answered a written question from Helen Goodman concerning the category limits of the Church Commissioners’ Ethical Investment Policy Continue reading “Second Church Estates Commissioner answers written question on ethical investment”
On 5th August 2013, the Bishop of Wakefield, the Rt Revd Stephen Platten, received an answer to a written question on European Union Justice and Home Affairs measures.
The Lord Bishop of Wakefield: To ask Her Majesty’s Government whether, prior to their decision on 9 July to opt out of 130 European Union Justice and Home Affairs measures as provided for by the Lisbon Treaty, guarantees were provided by the European Commission that the United Kingdom would be able to opt back in to various police and justice provisions.
The Minister of State, Ministry of Justice (Lord McNally): Protocol 36 to the Treaties places an obligation on the UK and the Union institutions to, “…seek to re-establish the widest possible measure of participation of the United Kingdom in the acquis of the Union in the area of freedom, security and justice without seriously affecting practical operability of the various parts thereof, while respecting their coherence”. We are confident that we will be able to reach agreement on a sensible final package of measures that the UK will formally apply to rejoin.
Of course it is not possible to predict the final outcome of the discussions with EU institutions, but following the Governments announcement on 9 July the Commission made clear in a press release that it “respects the UK Government’s choice to opt out, which is in line with the Treaty, and welcomes the UK intention to also opt back into certain measures”.
On 30th July 2013, the Bishop of Derby, the Rt Revd Alastair Redfern, reveived an answer to a written question on the subject of violence against women.
The Lord Bishop of Derby: To ask Her Majesty’s Government, further to the Written Answer by Baroness Northover on 9 July (WA35), what funding has been provided to churches and faith-based organisations from the Violence against Women and Children Research and Innovation Fund.
Baroness Northover: The initial competitive tenders for Women and Children Research and Innovation programme were issued in May 2013, and we expect contracts to be in place by the end of the year.
The innovation grants will specifically target support to developing country organisations and will be open to partnerships between international and local organisations, including churches and faith-based organisations.
On 29th July 2013, Lord Sheldon asked Her Majesty’s Government what steps they are taking to reduce the number of suicides of children in prisons. The Bishop of Guildford, the Rt Revd Christopher Hill, asked a supplementary question:
The Lord Bishop of Guildford: Would the Minister care to comment, in the light of the reports of HM Inspectorate of Prisons of May this year on the increased violence at Ashfield and Feltham—it is 10 years to this month since the Commission for Racial Equality produced its report on Feltham—on the desirability of the elimination of the use of batons and routine strip searches in juvenile prisons?
Lord McNally: Every inclination I have is in that direction. Carrying on the policy of the previous Administration, we have tried to make sure that order and discipline in young people’s institutions of various kinds are maintained with the minimum of physical intervention and with the maximum attention on trying to manage difficult situations. A lot of the training addresses how the staff themselves are able to manage down situations before they become violent. However, we also have a duty of care to our staff and a duty of care to other inmates in these institutions, who may become victims of uncontrolled violence.