Bishop of London asks Government about NHS migrant workers

On 20th May 2020 the Bishop of London, Rt Revd Sarah Mullally, received a written answer to a question on NHS migrant workers.

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The Lord Bishop of London: HL4423 To ask Her Majesty’s Government what steps they are taking to ensure that any (1) NHS employee, and (2) agency worker engaged by the NHS, during the COVID-19 pandemic who is currently on (a) a Tier 5 Temporary Worker – Government Authorised Exchange visa, or (b) a family visa, have the right to remain in the UK.

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Church Commissioners’ Written Answer: Church Service Attendance

On 19th May 2020 the Second Church Estates Commissioner, Andrew Selous MP, answered a written question on church service attendance, from Alexander Stafford MP.

Alexander Stafford (Rother Valley): 47487 To ask the Member for South West Bedfordshire, representing the Church Commissioners, what is the average church attendance each week in (a) Rother Valley Constituency, (b) Yorkshire, and (c) England in each year of the last five years.

rsz_1andrew_profile_2Andrew Selous: The most recent survey of church attendance was published in 2018, and the table below contains figures aggregated from 2014-18 using average weekly attendance figures at all age services. These figures are collected each year during four weeks in October.

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Church Commissioners’ Written Answers: Reopening Churches

On 19th May 2020 the Second Church Estates Commissioner, Andrew Selous MP, answered a written question on the reopening of churches, from Tracey Crouch MP.

Tracey Crouch (Chatham and Aylesford): 902801 To ask the hon. Member for South West Bedfordshire, representing the Church Commissioners, what assessment the Church of England has made of the potential effect on public health of reopening churches.

rsz_1andrew_profile_2Andrew Selous: The House of Bishops meets regularly to review its own guidance to clergy in light of Government and public health advice.

On 5th May the House of Bishops issued new guidance, which can be seen at: https://www.churchofengland.org/more/media-centre/news/house-bishops-backs-phased-approach-revising-access-church-buildings

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Church Commissioners’ Written Answers: Baptisms, Weddings and Funerals during Covid-19

On 19th May 2020 the Second Church Estates Commissioner Andrew Selous MP, answered two written questions, from Rachael Maskell MP and Barry Sheerman MP  on the reopening of churches for baptisms, weddings and funerals:

Rachael Maskell (York Central): 902797 To ask the hon. Member for South West Bedfordshire, representing the Church Commissioners, what the Commissioners’ timetable is for enabling churches to reopen safely for funeral services after the covid-19 lockdown.

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Andrew Selous: The Church Commissioners do not have responsibility for setting a timetable for the reopening of church buildings for funeral services.

Current guidance from the House of Bishops is not to conduct funeral services in church buildings because of widely expressed concerns about parishes having capacity to conduct such funerals safely, including being able to clean churches thoroughly between services to reduce the risk of transmission of the virus. This is guidance, not instruction.

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Church Commissioner Questions – Coronavirus, Access to Worship, Family Life, Education, Clergy Discipline Process and Hospital Chaplains

On 19th May 2020 the Second Church Estates Commissioner, Andrew Selous MP, answered questions in the House of Commons on coronavirus, access to worship, family life, education, the clergy discipline process and hospital chaplaincy. A transcript is below:

Church Commissioners

The hon. Member for South West Bedfordshire, representing the Church Commissioners, was asked—

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Bishop of Portsmouth asks Government about Covid-19 tests for Armed Forces

On 19th May 2020, Lord Touhig asked the Government “what steps they are taking to coordinate the response to the COVID-19 pandemic with NATO to prevent any security risks”. The Bishop of Portsmouth, Rt Revd Christopher Foster, asked a follow-up question:

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The Lord Bishop of Portsmouth: My Lords, one of the most significant threats to our security would be if our Armed Forces were unable to guarantee that security and to play their part in NATO. With the recent positive tests for Covid among some of the crew on HMS “Queen Elizabeth”, is the Minister confident that any member of the Armed Forces who needs a test has ready access to one? How many have been tested, and how many of those tests have been positive?

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Bishop of Portsmouth asks the Government about housing for homeless after Covid-19

On 18th May 2020 a statement was given regarding housing during the COVID-19 pandemic. The Bishop of Portsmouth, Rt Revd Christopher Foster, asked a follow up question:

Bishop of PortsmouthThe Lord Bishop of Portsmouth: My Lords, the Statement speaks of homes for all people as the Government’s vision, so I congratulate them on the funding they have made available which has allowed a huge amount to be done to support homeless people in a very short space of time. Does the Minister accept that withdrawing dedicated funding risks undermining all that has been achieved in providing housing as a first step towards the homeless having homes?

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