On 14th January 2019 Baroness Finn tabled an Oral Question ‘To ask Her Majesty’s Government what assessment they have made of the potential consequences of adopting an official definition of Islamophobia.’ The Archbishop of York, the Most Revd and Rt Hon Dr John Sentamu, asked a follow up question:
The Archbishop of York: My Lords, on the overall question of definitions, sometimes it is much easier to do things when we handle them as concepts. In the Stephen Lawrence inquiry, we struggled with the question of racism, particularly when it is found in institutions, so we ended up saying: “The concept that we apply to this case of institutional racism is this”. That is much easier than a definition because a definition can restrict what you want to say. Is it not better to learn from what the Stephen Lawrence inquiry did?
Continue reading “Archbishop of York urges Government to learn from Lawrence inquiry when defining Islamophobia”
On 14th January 2019, Lord Ahmed tabled an Oral Question ‘To ask Her Majesty’s Government what assessment they have made of the humanitarian situation in Yemen.’ The Bishop of St Albans, the Rt Revd Dr Alan Smith, asked a follow-up question:
The Lord Bishop of St Albans: My Lords, as well as the huge famine—I congratulate Her Majesty’s Government on what they are doing to respond to it—we are also seeing unfold before our eyes a huge medical crisis, with possibly the largest cholera epidemic in recorded history. Will the Minister update us on what plans and action are being taken with our partners to bring in medical help urgently to try to address this unparalleled, Dickensian level of preventable disease?
Continue reading “Bishop of St Albans asks what is being done to address cholera epidemic in Yemen”
This week in the House of Lords bishops spoke in debates on the Government’s EU Withdrawal Agreement, and the welfare of girls in conflict-afflicted countries.
They asked questions on benefit reforms and the impact on children, Iranians seeking asylum in the UK, child refugees, and Universal Credit. The Bishop of Durham welcomed the Government’s announcement on the two-child limit on welfare benefits.
In the House of Commons the Second Church Estates Commissioner answered questions on cathedral choirs and disability discrimination legislation. Continue reading “Week in Westminster 7th-11th January 2019”
From the Church of England website:
Following comments by the Work and Pensions Secretary Amber Rudd on changes to Universal Credit, the Bishop of Durham, Paul Butler, who speaks for the Church of England on issues relating to children and young people, said:
“As a just and compassionate society, we believe that every child is a blessing and deserves to be treated equally.
“So I very much welcome today’s announcement that the two-child limit policy will not be extended to children born before the policy came into effect in April 2017. I also welcome the Government’s more considered approach to moving people on to Universal Credit from the old benefits system.
Continue reading “Bishop of Durham Welcomes Universal Credit Announcement”
On 10th January 2019 the Bishop of Gloucester, Rt Revd Rachel Treweek, asked a question she had tabled to Government on benefit reforms and the impact on children. She specifically raised the issue of the two-child limit. A Government announcement on that was made the following day. The response to the question and to the Bishop’s subsequent question and those of other Members, can be seen in full below:
The Lord Bishop of Gloucester: To ask Her Majesty’s Government what assessment they have made of the impact of benefit reforms on families with children.
The Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State, Department for Work and Pensions (Baroness Buscombe) (Con): My Lords, this Government support families. Our welfare system supports those who are vulnerable and helps people into work. These reforms are working, with 3.3 million more people in work and 300,000 fewer children in absolute poverty than in 2010, a record low. Once fully rolled out, universal credit will result in an extra 200,000 people moving into work and will empower people to work an extra 113 million hours a year to support their families.
The Lord Bishop of Gloucester: I thank the Minister for her Answer and I am grateful for recent engagement with faith and other groups on this issue, but the Government’s own statistics show that child poverty is rising among families with more than two children, even when those families have an adult in work. One of the principal drivers of this increase is the Government’s two-child limit, which makes it harder for parents of more than two children to work their way out of poverty, contrary to the aims of universal credit. In light of this evidence, will the Government reconsider that two-child policy? Continue reading “Bishop of Gloucester asks about impact of benefit reforms and two-child limit on families with children”
On the 10th January the Second Church Estates Commissioner, the Rt Hon Dame Caroline Spelman answered a written question about cathedrals and disability discrimination legislation:
Adam Holloway (Gravesham): To ask the Right Honourable Member for Meriden, representing the Church Commissioners, what duty does (a) the Church of England and (b) cathedrals and abbeys have to cathedral choristers with long-term medical conditions under disability discrimination legislation; and if she will make a statement. (205855)
Continue reading “Church Commissioner written answer – cathedrals and disability”
On 9th January 2019 the House of Lords debated the Government’s EU Withdrawal Agreement and Political Declaration. The Archbishop of Canterbury, Most Revd Justin Welby, spoke in the debate. His full speech, and extracts of the speeches of others across the three days of debate, are below:
Continue reading “Archbishop of Canterbury – a no deal Brexit would be a political, practical and moral failure”