On 10th & 13th February 2020 the Bishop of St Albans, Rt Revd Alan Smith, received written answers to questions on the gambling industry and sport:
On 11th and 13th February 2020 the Bishop of Southwark, Rt Revd Christopher Chessun, received written answers to five questions, on Israel & Palestine.
Continue reading “Church Commissioners’ Written Answers: carbon emissions, religious freedom, strategic development funding, church planting, green investments, the Democratic Republic of Congo and South Sudan, the Primates’ Meeting, new technologies, marriage and family life”
On 12th February 2020 Lord Touhig asked the Government “what progress has been made in reducing the disability employment gap.” The Bishop of St Albans, Rt Revd Alan Smith, asked a follow-up question:
The Lord Bishop of St Albans: My Lords, in this important area Britain is proud to be a leader in many ways—in technology, computing and so on—and many of these projects, which are transforming the lives of some people with certain kinds of disabilities, have been run across Europe, so there are worries that some of these projects may not continue. Can the Minister assure the House that priority will be given to helping this world-leading development continue? It is making an impact on people with disabilities not only in our own country but right across the world as the technology is rolled out.
On 11th February 202o the Bishop of Durham, Rt Revd Paul Butler, responded to a Government statement on transport infrastructure, including the decision to give the go ahead to the High Speed Two rail link:
The Lord Bishop of Durham: My Lords, perhaps we might return to the north-east. The noble Lord, Lord Shipley, and I, along with many others, have argued previously that this infrastructure should have begun in the north and the south at the same time. In the review, can we please ensure that we are working not just south to north but north to south? This would help speed up the process. Can the Minister also answer a question on the production of the trains and the carriages? Companies such as Hitachi and Bombardier have been mentioned. Are the contracts going to be given out in Britain?
On 11th February 2020 the Bishop of St Albans, Rt Revd Alan Smith, asked a question he had tabled to Government on plans to tackle antisemitism. The response, his follow-up question and those of other Members is below:
Hate Crime: Anti-Semitism
The Lord Bishop of St Albans: To ask Her Majesty’s Government what steps they have taken to address antisemitic hate crime.
Baroness Berridge (Con): My Lords, the Government are committed to combating all forms of antisemitism. Our cross-party working group ensures that we are alive to Jewish community concerns and can respond effectively, alongside the advice of the noble Lord, Lord Mann, as our independent adviser. We have spent nearly £860,000 this year on projects tackling religiously and racially motivated hatred, including almost £150,000 to tackle anti-Semitism online.
The Lord Bishop of St Albans: I thank the noble Baroness for her Answer. According to the Community Security Trust, the number of anti-Semitic instances has risen for each of the past four years. It is a growing problem. We in the churches have been exploring with Jewish groups any role that we may have played in the past with any stereotyping. Recently, the entire College of Bishops of the Church of England signed up to the IHRA definition of anti-Semitism. Education will be key. I am grateful for what the noble Baroness has said, but can she tell us not only about the funds but which projects and resources Her Majesty’s Government are making available so that we can address, through education, the stereotyping and the troping of Jewish people to address this scourge.
In the House of Lords on 11th February 2020, Baroness Pinnock asked the Government “what plans they have to bring back into use empty Victorian mills in the Pennine area of the North of England.” The Bishop of Leeds, Rt Revd Nick Baines, asked a follow up question:
The Lord Bishop of Leeds: My Lords, there are some wonderful examples of how old mills being rejuvenated and given new life, such as Salts Mill in Saltaire and Manningham Mills, although there is a vast amount of empty space there. If they were icons of the old northern powerhouse, they are now becoming icons of dereliction. Does the Minister agree that if nothing is going to happen, then it would be better to knock them down? I do not favour that, but there needs to be a strategy that allows these wonderful buildings to be brought back into life, to be given a sort of resurrection.