Bishop of Coventry urges more effort on diplomatic solution to conflict in Syria

On 19th April 2018 the House of Lords debated a Government motion “that this House takes note of the national security situation.” The Bishop of Coventry, Rt Revd Christopher Cocksworth, took part in the debate:

The Lord Bishop of Coventry: My Lords, I, too, am grateful to the Minister for bringing this debate forward at this pivotal time in our national security and foreign policy. It is a great honour to follow the noble Lord, Lord Owen, and other distinguished speakers with their panoramic perspectives. Given the timing of the debate, I shall offer some reflections on the Syrian situation, both the danger it represents for national security and the role it might play in recasting relations with Russia, even in the stressful times described so clearly by the noble and gallant Lord, Lord Stirrup. Continue reading “Bishop of Coventry urges more effort on diplomatic solution to conflict in Syria”

Bishop of Coventry speaks in debate on lifelong learning

Coventry171122 bOn 16th April Baroness Garden of Frognal held a debate ‘To ask Her Majesty’s Government what progress is being made in developing a sustainable lifelong learning culture in England’. The Bishop of Coventry, the Rt Revd Christopher Cocksworth, spoke in the debate:

The Bishop of Coventry: My Lords, I join in thanking the noble Baroness, Lady Garden of Frognal, for securing this debate and for her very comprehensive introduction. Continue reading “Bishop of Coventry speaks in debate on lifelong learning”

Bishop of Derby on need for focus on funding, relationship education and reformation as ways to tackle domestic abuse

On 22nd March 2018 Baroness Lister of Burtersett asked Her Majesty’s Government “what plans they have to support survivors of domestic abuse and to prevent future abuse.” The Bishop of Derby, Rt Revd Alastair Redfern, spoke in the debate:

The Lord Bishop of Derby: My Lords, I, too, thank the noble Baroness, Lady Lister, for introducing this important debate. It is crucial that we hold together support for victims and prevention. To get value for our investment we need to push back against the space that allows this crime to happen. I want to offer one or two thoughts about the framework within which resources need to be spent, and about the challenge to the Minister and to local authorities in the complexities that we are trying to deal with. The smaller the budget, the greater the odds against anything working. Continue reading “Bishop of Derby on need for focus on funding, relationship education and reformation as ways to tackle domestic abuse”

Bishop of Rochester on importance of Commonwealth in building partnerships

On 22nd March 2018 the House of Lords debated a motion from the Foreign Office Minister Lord Ahmad of Wimbledon, “That this House takes note of the Commonwealth Heads of Government Meeting 2018.” The Bishop of Rochester, Rt Revd James Langstaff, spoke in the debate:

The Lord Bishop of Rochester: My Lords, the Anglican Communion extends significantly beyond the nations of the Commonwealth. Nevertheless, for obvious reasons of history, there is a very substantial Anglican presence in many Commonwealth countries. I am therefore pleased to speak from these Benches in this debate—and I, too, look forward to the maiden speech of the noble Lord, Lord Geidt.

Within the Anglican Communion we have a rich network of companion links between dioceses in different parts of the world, whereby most Lords spiritual will have an active engagement with the life of at least one Commonwealth country. The nature of the Commonwealth as a network of autonomous free nations also has some parallel with the life of the communion, wherein each province is autonomous yet links together through what one might call family likeness, and the position of honour granted to the most reverend Primate the Archbishop of Canterbury. Continue reading “Bishop of Rochester on importance of Commonwealth in building partnerships”

Bishop of Portsmouth warns of cliff-edge consequences for poor families, of changes to free school meal rules

On 20th March 2018 the House of Lords debated the motion ‘that this House regrets Her Majesty’s Government bringing forward changes in entitlement to free school meals through the Free School Lunches and Milk, and School and Early Years Finance (Amendments Relating to Universal Credit) (England) Regulations 2018 which will undermine work incentives in Universal Credit and leave up to a million poor children unable to claim free school meals; and calls on Her Majesty’s Government not to implement the Regulations until a full poverty impact assessment has been completed and considered by both Houses, and not before six months has elapsed (SI 2018/148). The Bishop of Portsmouth, Rt Revd Christopher Foster, spoke in the debate: 

The Lord Bishop of Portsmouth: My Lords, it normally gives me great pleasure to speak in your Lordships’ house, but this evening I speak with some sorrow. I am hoping that the proposals made by the Government—involving, I am sure, the Treasury, the Department for Education and the Department for Work and Pensions—are perhaps the result of the complexity of those interlocking interests and have inadvertently left what surely cannot be intended. The consequences of this policy run counter to everything that the Government have said about the principle of universal credit, which I and many others have supported. If the consequences are unintended then I shall be delighted and relieved to hear the Minister say so.

Continue reading “Bishop of Portsmouth warns of cliff-edge consequences for poor families, of changes to free school meal rules”

Bishop of Winchester pays tribute to former Leader of the House of Lords

On 20th March 2018 the House of Lords paid tribute to former Leader of the House, Lord Richards, whose death had been announced. The Bishop of Winchester paid tribute on behalf of the Bishops’ Benches:

The Lord Bishop of Winchester: My Lords, on behalf of these Benches, I also pay tribute to Lord Richard and associate myself with the comments already made. Lord Richard’s life was clearly one devoted to public service: MP, ambassador to the United Nations, where he worked hard on both the Middle East and then Rhodesia, and EU Commissioner before coming to this House, where he first became Leader of the Opposition and ultimately Leader of the House. Most of us aspire to making an impression in one area alone: he clearly excelled in many. Continue reading “Bishop of Winchester pays tribute to former Leader of the House of Lords”

Bishop of Portsmouth raises plight of those struggling to make ends meet, in debate on economy

On 15th March 2018 the House of Lords debated the economy in light of the Chancellor’s Spring Statement. The Bishop of Portsmouth, Rt Revd Christopher Foster, spoke in the debate:

The Lord Bishop of Portsmouth: My Lords, my first duty today is one of great joy: to welcome on behalf of this Bench, and I am sure the whole House, the right reverend Prelate the Bishop of Lincoln, and to congratulate him on a fine maiden contribution. Its quality was no surprise to me. He is remembered with great respect in the Diocese of Portsmouth, which I now serve and where my colleague and friend was parish priest and archdeacon. I know that his erstwhile congregation in Petersfield was delighted that he was able to visit them last year.​ Continue reading “Bishop of Portsmouth raises plight of those struggling to make ends meet, in debate on economy”