On 16th January 2015, the Bishop of Carlisle, the Rt Revd James Newcome, and the Bishop of Chester, the Rt Revd Peter Forster, spoke during the Committee Stage of Lord Falconer of Thoroton’s Assisted Dying Bill. Subjects debated included the terminology used in the text and title of the Bill, and clarifications of the relationship between patients and the medical practitioners required to treat them. The debate on the Bill was suspended at the end of the day. The Bill is unlikely to make further progress during the current Parliament. There were also two divisions on the Bill, and more details can be found here.
“By going down this track we would be sending a clear message to society, and especially its most vulnerable members, about individual lives having a different value according to their circumstances.”
On 18th July 2014, the Bishop of Carlisle, the Rt Revd James Newcome, spoke during the Second Reading of the Assisted Dying Bill. The Bishop spoke against the Bill, raising concerns that the proposed Bill would destroy the balance currently provided by legislation, and highlighting the risks associated with the Bill in relation to the welfare of vulnerable individuals.
The Lord Bishop of Carlisle: My Lords, a word that is frequently used in your Lordships’ House is “balance”. It has already been used several times in this debate—in particular, by my noble and learned friend Lady Butler-Sloss, the noble Lord, Lord Condon, the noble Baroness, Lady Kennedy, and the noble Lords, Lord Kerr of Kinlochard and Lord Wills, and probably many others whom I may have missed. We constantly look for balance in our legislation and in the way that the legislation is applied. Continue reading “Bishop of Carlisle speaks against Assisted Dying Bill – new legislation would destroy balance of current law”
On 17th July 2014, Lord Harries of Pentregarth asked Her Majesty’s Government what is their assessment of the new Government of India and the challenge presented by poverty in that country. The Bishop of Carlisle, the Rt Revd James Newcome, asked a supplementary question.
The Lord Bishop of Carlisle: My Lords, does the Minister agree that while the gender gap in employment and political participation is narrowing in India, there is still much that needs to be done by the Government for the health and safety of girls and women? If that is the case, can the Minister assure us that this matter will be given the attention it deserves at the Girl Summit being hosted by the UK Government next week?
Baroness Northover: The Girl Summit is extremely important. The right reverend Prelate is right about the gender gap in India, but I also notice that in the budget of last week money was put into trying to ensure that girls attend and are safe in school. I have myself seen a major programme which puts money into the hands of families of girls to try to ensure that they stay in school and have the incentives to be there.
On 15th July, tributes were offered to the out-going Leader of the House of Lords, the Lord Hill of Oareford, following his nomination as the United Kingdom’s candidate to the European Commission. The Bishop of Carlisle, the Rt Revd James Newcome, led the tributes on behalf of the Lords Spiritual.
The Lord Bishop of Carlisle: My Lords, I associate those of us on these Benches with the generous comments from around the House about the noble Lord, Lord Hill. My colleagues have been grateful for the support, the wisdom and the guidance of the noble Lord and his office for the Lords spiritual to enable our contribution to the work of the House to match the high levels of all other parts of the House. He also did a wonderful job as Education Minister and he has been a good friend to the Church and to the Lords Spiritual. Continue reading “Bishop of Carlisle leads tributes to departing Leader of the House of Lords”
“…the local Christian diocese has to shoulder most of the burden of caring for people who are in desperate need, and of attempting to feed them when its own resources are pitifully small. Have Her Majesty’s Government given any consideration to providing aid, and so helping to meet people’s basic human rights to food and drink, through the church in that part of Sudan? Heroic efforts are being made to alleviate desperate need, but funding is urgently required” – Bishop of Carlisle, 14.7.14
On 14th July 2014, Baroness Cox led a short debate in the House of Lords to ask Her Majesty’s Government what is their assessment of human rights in the Republic of Sudan. The Bishop of Carlisle, the Rt Revd James Newcome, took part in the debate. He spoke about the dire humanitarian situation in the country and the increasing role being played by the church; and also highlighted a number of instances of persecution on the grounds of religious beliefs, urging the Government to put pressure on the Republic of Sudan to respect and promote Article 18 of the UN Declaration of Human Rights.
The Lord Bishop of Carlisle: My Lords, I, too, am most grateful to the noble Baroness, Lady Cox. Unlike her, I cannot claim to be an expert on Sudan, but some of my colleagues who would normally speak on this issue have been unavoidably detained today in another debate of some importance to the church at the General Synod in York. I am very grateful for this opportunity to contribute to this debate because the human rights issues it raises are of such enormous significance, not only for the individuals directly concerned but for the way in which we direct our foreign aid and conduct our foreign policy. Continue reading “Bishop of Carlisle calls for Government action to tackle religious persecution in Republic of Sudan”
“Even when all the other factors have been taken into account, the disparity in mortality between people with and without learning difficulties is alarming” – Bishop of Carlisle, 12/6/14
On 12th June, the House of Lords debated a motion from Baroness Hollins: ‘To ask Her Majesty’s Government what action they are taking to address the health inequalities found by the Confidential Inquiry into Premature Deaths of People with Learning Disabilities’. The Bishop of Carlisle, Rt Rev James Newcome, who is the lead CofE bishop for healthcare issues, spoke in the debate. He highlighted the need for greater monitoring of the causes of health inequalities for those with learning disabilities, better training for health professionals and improved advocacy and service design, especially to involve patients.
The Lord Bishop of Carlisle: My Lords, in this debate we are asking Her Majesty’s Government to do three things. The first is to recognise the situation that currently exists, as we have heard, with regard to people with learning disabilities. It has been pointed out that the situation is one of considerable inequality. Continue reading “Bishop of Carlisle raises concerns about health inequalities for people with learning disabilities”
“NHS staff may often be the only point of contact that trafficked individuals have with society…This is just one of many reasons why the significant reduction in chaplaincy hours by some trusts seems to be short-sighted and ill advised”- Bishop of Carlisle, 9/6/14
In the sixth response from the Bishops’ Benches to the Queen’s Speech, the Bishop of Carlisle, Rt Rev James Newcome, focused on health matters, drawing special attention to the need for action on elderly social care and on the health aspects of proposed legislation on modern slavery. He also criticised some Trusts for the recent significant reduction in chaplaincy hours.
The Lord Bishop of Carlisle: My Lords, I agree with the noble Lord, Lord Willis, that the quantity of legislation does not equate to its quality. As we have already heard, we doubtless all agree that the noble Earl, Lord Howe, and the NHS deserve a bit of a rest. However, there are none the less those who regret the fact that so little of the gracious Speech related directly to health. For instance, the charity Age UK expressed its disappointment that an opportunity was lost to put in place safeguarding legislation that would have helped prevent the abuse of older people.