Ethos and education: the Bishop of Chelmsford makes maiden speech in House of Lords

“…it is impossible to understand and inhabit the modern world, especially in east London, without a critical appreciation of faith and, even more than that, a mature spiritual, moral, social and cultural worldview. Moreover, good religious education has been shown to be one of the best ways of countering religious extremism” – Bishop of Chelmsford, 9/6/14

14.06.09 Chelmsford 2

The Bishop of Chelmsford, Rt Rev Stephen Cottrell, made his maiden speech on 9th June 2014, during the debate on the Queen’s Speech. He spoke of the importance of religious education and the positive role played by church schools. He also welcomed Government proposals in the Queen’s Speech for tackling the emotional abuse of children. The speech can also be watched on Parliament Live TV.

The Lord Bishop of Chelmsford (Maiden Speech): My Lords, I think that the correct medical term for my condition is imposter syndrome. I have suffered from that for a long time. How could a boy from Southend who was not brought up going to church and who, aged 11, fell the wrong side of the line and went to a secondary modern school end up sitting on these red Benches and speaking in this House? Because of this, I want to say something today about the place of education in the life of our nation. Continue reading “Ethos and education: the Bishop of Chelmsford makes maiden speech in House of Lords”

Bishop of Derby welcomes Modern Slavery Bill during Queen’s Speech debate

“Our challenge will be: how does the state craft a strategy that delivers mercy?” – Bishop of Derby, 9/6/14

In the fourth response from the Bishops’ Benches to the Queen’s Speech, on 9th June 2014 the Bishop of Derby, Rt Rev Alastair Redfern, welcomed the Modern Slavery Bill and, as a former member of the committee that examined the draft bill, made some suggestions for how it could be improved even more.

Bishop of DerbyThe Lord Bishop of Derby: My Lords, I should like to offer some comments on the welcome proposal set out by the Government in the gracious Speech to introduce the modern slavery Bill. I had the privilege of serving on the Joint Select Committee with other Members of your Lordships’ House under the superb chairmanship of Frank Field MP, and we all came to an agreement on a number of important issues. I want to comment on and offer some suggestions as to how we might handle the debate on this important topic, not least because much of the world is looking to see the terms in which such a Bill might be couched and how it is introduced. Continue reading “Bishop of Derby welcomes Modern Slavery Bill during Queen’s Speech debate”

Bishop of Norwich calls for greater co-ordination between schools and NHS to support young carers

Baroness Wheeler asked Her Majesty’s Government how they will ensure Clinical Commissioning Groups’ strategies and implementation plans support carers and take account of their needs and aspirations.

The Bishop of Norwich asked a supplementary question:

The Lord Bishop of Norwich: My Lords, the census revealed a substantial increase in young carers, some of whom may not even recognise the term but are simply doing what is expected in their family. Does the Minister agree that CCGs should consult and connect with schools to ensure that those noble but often vulnerable young adults get the support they deserve?
Earl Howe: I fully agree with the right reverend Prelate. The Government’s carers strategy sends out a strong message that education, health and young carer services should work together with families better to identify and support young carers, to prevent them taking on harmful caring roles. Young carers’ education, development or employment opportunities should not be diminished because of their caring role, and the right reverend Prelate may like to note that one of the initiatives recently put in train has been to recruit school nurses who are reaching out to schools to ensure that young carers’ needs are recognised in schools.


Second Church Estates Commissioner highlights role of Near Neighbours in community integration

During the questions following an urgent statement in the House of Commons on extremism, the Second Church Estates Commissioner, Rt Hon Sir Tony Baldry MP, raised the important role played by the Near Neighbours programme in promoting community integration.


14.01 CCQ BaldrySir Tony Baldry (Banbury): May I remind my right hon. Friend that, after the general election, practically the first meeting the Secretary of State for Communities and Local Government attended was at Lambeth Palace, where all the nation’s faith leaders were present? He committed the Government to fund and support the Near Neighbours programme, which enables faith communities throughout the country to work together to promote integration and tackle extremism. If this “duff up the Home Secretary” urgent question has achieved nothing else this afternoon, it will at least, hopefully, better explain to the Opposition and others where the division of responsibilities lie in government for counter-terrorism on the one hand and community integration on the other.

Mrs May: My right hon. Friend is absolutely right. He is right to draw attention to the excellent work the Department for Communities and Local Government has been doing under the leadership of my right hon. Friend, the Secretary of State. Indeed, my right hon. Friend, the noble Baroness Warsi has been doing very important work to bring communities together, particularly faith communities, to share their experiences and increase understanding between them. That is a vital part of the integration work that I would have hoped we all, across the Chamber, accept is necessary. We should support it wherever we see it.


Queen’s Speech 2014: Bishop of St Albans on the rural economy

“Subsidiarity must be a key principle in any reforms—working towards a more participatory democracy, in which all people feel that they have a stake in a shared society and want to engage in the democratic process….We have to insist that people do not retreat into an unthinking, uncaring nimbyism that refuses to address the real problems facing us”- Bishop of St Albans 05/06/14

On 5th June 2014 in the third contribution from the Bishop’s Benches in response to the Queen’s Speech, the Bishop of St Albans, the Rt Revd Alan Smith, spoke about the rural economy and the impact that a wide range of issues, including housing, energy security and the Government’s plans for forestry, would have on its future. 

Bishop of St Albans

The Lord Bishop of St Albans: My Lords, I, too, congratulate my colleague the right reverend Prelate the Bishop of Rochester on his maiden speech. From these Benches, I can say that we are delighted that he will bring a great deal of insight and experience, not least into housing and prisons, into our debates. Continue reading “Queen’s Speech 2014: Bishop of St Albans on the rural economy”

Bishop of Derby’s response to Modern Slavery Bill Announcement

Bishop of Derby’s response to Modern Slavery Bill Announcement

(From the website of the Diocese of Derby)

5th June 2014

The Bishop of Derby, The Rt Revd Dr Alastair Redfern has commented on the Modern Slavery Bill announced in the Queen’s speech at the opening of parliament. Continue reading “Bishop of Derby’s response to Modern Slavery Bill Announcement”

Maiden speech of the Bishop of Rochester: Housing and the Queen’s Speech

“I cannot rest content for as long as there are those without somewhere to call home and, more sharply, without security in relation to the shelter over their head” – Bishop of Rochester, 5/6/14

In the second response to the Queen’s Speech by the Lords Spiritual, Rt Rev James Langstaff, Bishop of Rochester delivered a maiden speech about housing. Welcoming some of the provisions in the Queen’s Speech about new home building, the Bishop voiced concern about supply and affordability and raised the work of Housing Justice and the Faith in Affordable Housing project. 

Hear an interview with the Bishop about his maiden speech and his thoughts on joining the House of Lords here

14.04.01 Rochester intro 2

The Lord Bishop of Rochester (Maiden Speech): My Lords, I thought that your Lordships might welcome a maiden speech as a kind of interlude in the midst of today’s business. I am most grateful for the welcome that I have received in your Lordships’ House since my introduction on, of all auspicious days, April Fools’ Day. I am particularly grateful for the courtesy, kindness and helpfulness shown by the Lord Speaker, Black Rod, the Clerk of the Parliaments and their staff. Continue reading “Maiden speech of the Bishop of Rochester: Housing and the Queen’s Speech”