Bishop of Peterborough – need to consider impact on smaller aid and development charities of necessary anti-corruption measures

On 2nd April 2019 the House of Lords debated a motion from Lord McInnes of Kilwinning “To ask Her Majesty’s Government what steps they take to ensure that anti-corruption measures are supported as part of (1) aid to developing countries, and countries recovering from natural disasters, and (2) the reconstruction of former conflict areas.” The Bishop of Peterborough, Rt Revd Donald Allister, spoke in the debate:

The Lord Bishop of Peterborough: My Lords, I am most grateful to the noble Lord, Lord McInnes, for raising this important Question. I draw attention to my non-financial interest as a vice-president of the Leprosy Mission. I hasten to add that, to the best of my knowledge, that excellent organisation has not been infected by the scourge of corruption.

However, all of us involved in third sector aid must be vigilant and realistic about the temptations even for those whose careers and lives are essentially altruistic. The diocese I serve used to have what the Anglican Communion calls a companion link with a diocese in a very poor area of a very poor African country, where corruption is rife at all levels. We found it extremely difficult to support church work, rural clinics, schools and so on without significant amounts of money going astray—despite our best efforts as required by the Finance Act 2010 and by our own ethical standards.

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Bishop of Rochester on importance of Commonwealth in building partnerships

On 22nd March 2018 the House of Lords debated a motion from the Foreign Office Minister Lord Ahmad of Wimbledon, “That this House takes note of the Commonwealth Heads of Government Meeting 2018.” The Bishop of Rochester, Rt Revd James Langstaff, spoke in the debate:

The Lord Bishop of Rochester: My Lords, the Anglican Communion extends significantly beyond the nations of the Commonwealth. Nevertheless, for obvious reasons of history, there is a very substantial Anglican presence in many Commonwealth countries. I am therefore pleased to speak from these Benches in this debate—and I, too, look forward to the maiden speech of the noble Lord, Lord Geidt.

Within the Anglican Communion we have a rich network of companion links between dioceses in different parts of the world, whereby most Lords spiritual will have an active engagement with the life of at least one Commonwealth country. The nature of the Commonwealth as a network of autonomous free nations also has some parallel with the life of the communion, wherein each province is autonomous yet links together through what one might call family likeness, and the position of honour granted to the most reverend Primate the Archbishop of Canterbury. Continue reading “Bishop of Rochester on importance of Commonwealth in building partnerships”

Support for LGBT people – Church Commissioners

On 10th October 2017 the Second Church Estates Comissioner, Rt Hon Dame Caroline Spelman MP, answered two written questions from Ben Bradshaw MP, about homophobic prejudice and violence and support for LGBT people:

Mr Ben Bradshaw:

(i) To ask the right hon. Member for Meriden, representing the Church Commissioners, what steps the Church of England has taken as a result of the Anglican Primates’ statement of January 2016 on homophobic prejudice and violence and the rejection of criminal sanctions against same-sex attracted people.

(ii) To ask the right hon. Member for Meriden, representing the Church Commissioners, what steps the Church of England has taken to prevent the imposition of (a) the death penalty and (b) other criminal sanctions on LGBT people on account of their sexuality.

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Bishop of St Albans highlights importance of church in promoting disease prevention

On the 3rd April 2017, Baroness Hayman led a short debate in the House of Lords, to ask the Government “what is their assessment of progress made in combating neglected tropical diseases since the London Declaration made in January 2012.” The Bishop of St Albans, the Rt Revd Alan Smith, spoke about the role that the Anglican Communion could play in providing a bridge between NGOs and local communities.


stalbans190117-bBishop of St Albans: My Lords, I, too, thank the noble Baroness, Lady Hayman, for introducing the debate. It is good to pause and reflect on the extraordinary progress that has been made, as well as the salutary thought of just how much more needs to be done. I am not a medic and do not want to engage in the medical aspect of this, but I want to make one, very brief point: the need to adopt clear protocols and joined-up approaches if we are going to be really effective in combating neglected tropical diseases. Continue reading “Bishop of St Albans highlights importance of church in promoting disease prevention”

Caroline Spelman asks Government about partnership with churches on aid and development

Caroline SpelmanOn 16th October 2016 during International Development questions in the House of Commons, the Second Church Estates Commissioner, Rt Hon Dame Caroline Spelman MP, asked the Secretary of State about the Government’s collaborative work with churches in Nigeria.

Dame Caroline Spelman (Meriden) (Con): The UK has excellent links through the Anglican Communion to the Churches in Nigeria. Would the Secretary of State welcome the willingness of the Churches to help with the humanitarian situation to address some of the underlying causes, particularly corruption?

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Visas for Overseas Church Representatives – Bishop of Chelmsford Question

On 22nd September 2014 the Bishop of Chelmsford, Rt Rev Stephen Cottrell, received an answer to a question on the issuing of visas to representatives of overseas churches.
14.06.09 Chelmsford 2

Home Office – Entry Clearances
Asked by the Lord Bishop of Chelmsford on 01 September 2014 (HL1763):
To ask Her Majesty’s Government what plans they have to review the criteria for giving visas to overseas church representatives in cases where all fares and expenses are guaranteed by a United Kingdom church body.

Archbishop’s phone-in on LBC radio: transcript

Justin-Welby_2873342b

On Friday 4th April 2014 the Archbishop of Canterbury took questions from callers to LBC’s James O’Brien radio show. Topics covered included same-sex marriage, the nature of God, climate change, economics and investments, female bishops, welfare reform and relations within the Anglican Communion. A transcript is below. The full recording can also be heard here.

Update: On 6th April the Archbishop gave a joint interview to BBC Radio 4’s Sunday Programme, with Cardinal Vincent Nichols. In it he was asked to expand on the final answer he gave during the LBC interview. The Sunday Programme recording can be heard here (27 mins 55 secs in)

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