Marriage (Same Sex Couples) Bill – Bishop of Chester’s speech in the Lords

14.03 Bishop of ChesterOn 3rd & 4th June 2013 the House of Lords considered the Government’s Marriage (Same Sex Couples) Bill at its Second Reading. The Bishop of Chester, Rt Revd Peter Forster, spoke in the debate and his remarks are below, with extracts from speeches made by Peers where reference is made.

The Lord Bishop of Chester: My Lords, I associate myself closely with the previous speeches from these Benches but want to develop the discussion in a slightly different direction. I should emphasise that I am speaking in my personal capacity as a bishop and not, in any formal sense, on behalf of the wider Church of England.

I want to focus on the potential impact on the relationship between the Church of England and the state. As I listened to the noble Lord, Lord Dear, with his great list of implications for Argentina, I wanted to leap up and say, “And we have the Church of England to think about as well, on top of all that lot”. It was an issue that did not receive much attention in the debate in the other place—hardly any at all. I say at the outset that the Church of England has no right simply to maintain the status quo in our relationship with the state; nor do we necessarily wish to do so. However, the argument that there has been change, as there has been, in church-state relationships is no argument for any particular change. The weakness in the powerful speech of the noble Lord, Lord Pannick, was that all the changes in marriage that he listed were, in themselves, no argument for the particular change that we are discussing now. Continue reading “Marriage (Same Sex Couples) Bill – Bishop of Chester’s speech in the Lords”

Marriage (Same Sex Couples) Bill – Bishop of Leicester’s speech in the Lords

On 3rd June 2013 the House of Lords considered the Government’s Marriage (Same Sex Couples) Bill at its Second Reading. The Bishop of Leicester, Rt Revd Tim Stevens, spoke in the debate and his remarks are below, with extracts from speeches made by Peers where reference is made.

LeicesterThe Lord Bishop of Leicester: My Lords, having conducted some 400 weddings as a parish priest, making the journey with couples as they anticipate a lifelong commitment has been one of the great privileges of the ordained life. I have witnessed personally the stability, fulfilment and anchor for life for so many, which has been transformational. However, I have also observed that the open and public recognition of gay relationships that civil partnerships now provide displays many of the very qualities for which marriage itself is so highly celebrated. I speak as one whose respect for and appreciation of gay clergy is deep and who recognises in them sacrificial lives and fruitful ministries. I also recognise the need for some humility at this moment in speaking on matters of equality from these Benches. I add my appreciation to that of the most reverend Primate for the way in which the Secretary of State and her colleagues have tried to accommodate the Church of England’s concerns at every point in this process. I entirely endorse what the noble Baroness, Lady Kennedy, and others have said about the need to continue to make progress on the inclusion of gay people in our society, and I entirely accept what the noble Lord, Lord Pannick, has said about change and development in our understanding of the institution of marriage. Continue reading “Marriage (Same Sex Couples) Bill – Bishop of Leicester’s speech in the Lords”

Marriage (Same Sex Couples) Bill – Archbishop of Canterbury’s speech in the Lords

On 3rd June 2013 the House of Lords considered the Government’s Marriage (Same Sex Couples) Bill at its Second Reading. The Archbishop of Canterbury, Most Revd & Rt Hon Justin Welby, spoke in the debate and his remarks are below, with extracts from speeches made by Peers where reference is made.

Archbishop of CanterburyThe Archbishop of Canterbury: My Lords, the initial proposals published at the end of the autumn have needed much work to get them into today’s form. Much of that work has been done through detailed legal effort and discussion. I am deeply grateful to the DCMS teams and especially to the Secretary of State for the thoughtful way in which she has listened and the degree to which she has been willing to make changes in order to arrive at the stage we have reached today. Continue reading “Marriage (Same Sex Couples) Bill – Archbishop of Canterbury’s speech in the Lords”

MPs Questions to Sir Tony Baldry MP

In Church Commissioners Question TIme on Thursday 16th May 2013, Sir Tony Baldry MP asnwered questions on church bells, the same sex marriage bill, the Church of England, church attendance, religious freedom, and the English Baccalaureate.

14.01 CCQ Baldry

Church Bells

Andrew Stephenson (Pendle) (Con): What support the Church Commissioners provide to refurbish church bells

The Second Church Estates Commissioner (Sir Tony Baldry): Church bells are an important part of our national character and heritage, and the Church of England has some limited grant aid available for work to bells and bell frames that are of historic interest. This is distributed by the Church Buildings Council, which also provides advice to help churches approach other funders, including the Heritage Lottery Fund. Continue reading “MPs Questions to Sir Tony Baldry MP”

Maiden Speech from the Bishop of Winchester

Bishop of WinchesterOn 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.

Continue reading “Maiden Speech from the Bishop of Winchester”

Bishop of Birmingham questions Government over Child Poverty figures

Birmingham 171115On the 14th May 2013 Lord Dubs asked the Government a question about child poverty, the Bishop of Birmingham, the Rt Revd David Urquhart asked a supplementary question regarding the ways in which the Government could close the gap.

Continue reading “Bishop of Birmingham questions Government over Child Poverty figures”

Bishop of Birmingham responds to the Queen’s Speech addressing reforms of business, employment and economics

Birmingham 171115On 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”