“This is a serious problem; it is not a joke. The issue is getting more difficult, more frustrating and more challenging for more communities all the time, and we look to the Minister and the Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs to come forward with practical proposals to ensure that churches and communities can worship and flourish unimpeded by bats.”
On the 25th June 2013 in Westminster Hall, the Second Church Estates Commissioner, Sir Tony Baldry, led a debate on the issue of bats in churches and the impact of the EU habitats directive. Sir Tony described the negative impact that bat populations can have upon artefacts within churches and also the health threat that they pose to members of the congregation.
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On the 14th May 2013 the Bishop of Winchester, the Rt Revd Tim Dakin gave his maiden speech in the House of Lords. Following the convention of the House the Bishop spoke about his diocese and then addressed the debate covering his areas of interest education, social cohesion and agriculture.
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On the 13th May 2013 the Bishop of Birmingham responded to the Queens Speech focusing on the areas of unemployment, business and the economy. The Bishop welcomed proposals for economic development and investment in transport which he hope would bring benefits to Birmingham and the wider region. He hoped the Government would tackle three areas, youth unemployment, personal debt and banking reform, quoting former Archbishop William Temple he urged the Government to “Give us the tools in the regions and we will finish the job”. Continue reading “Bishop of Birmingham responds to the Queen’s Speech addressing reforms of business, employment and economics”
On the 9th May 2013 the Bishop of Exeter, the Rt Revd Michael Langrish responded to the Queen’s Speech addressing his remarks to devolution, community cohesion, and the need to address the increasing London-centric bias of policy making. Bishop Michael used the Church of England as an example of a way to successfully balance competing interests to create a sense of cohesion and mutual belonging in our society.
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On the 9th May 2013 the Bishop of Lichfield, the Rt Revd Jonathan Gledhill spoke in the debate responding to the Queen’s Speech. Bishop Jonathan addressed the areas of immigration and asylum reform along with a range of other areas relating to his interests in Home Affairs. Concluding his remarks the bishop reminded the House of the importance of ensuring a unified society, adopting polices which do not disproportionately impact those least able to make choices for themselves.
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On 16th May 2012 the House of Lords debated the proposals in the Queen’s Speech for business and the economy. The debate heard the maiden speech of Rt Revd Justin Welby, who as the recently appointed Bishop of Durham, had been introduced to the Lords on 12th January 2012. The text of his speech is below, with extracts of comments by Peers.
The Lord Bishop of Durham: My Lords, I am astonished to be here for two reasons. First, I am astonished that I am here at all. Secondly, I am astonished at the warm welcome that I have received, for which I very much thank your Lordships and all the staff and people who work in this place, who deal very adequately with Bishops wandering around, bleating miserably that they are lost—or, at least, this particular Bishop. It has been a great privilege to have found myself helped in so many ways. I am also grateful to the noble Baronesses, Lady Wilcox and Lady Royall, for their warm welcome today. I look forward to hearing the maiden speech of the noble Lord, Ashton of Hyde, a little later. Continue reading “Justin Welby’s maiden speech in the House of Lords”