Bishop of St Albans asks whether workplace chaplains can help employees experiencing mental health issues

On 1st November 2017 Lord Haskel asked Her Majesty’s Government “what is their response to the review of mental health and employers, Thriving at Work, published on 26 October.” The Bishop of St Albans, Rt Revd Alan Smith, asked a follow up question:

The Lord Bishop of St Albans: My Lords, there are many valuable statistics in the report, but also some quite worrying ones. Apparently 35% of the people interviewed thought that if they had had depression they would be far less likely to get any sort of promotion, while half of those interviewed said that they would not be willing to discuss mental health issues with their line manager. First, in the light of that, is there not a pressing need for a new public mental health awareness campaign? Secondly, will the Minister look into the contribution that workplace chaplaincy can make to addressing this problem? Continue reading “Bishop of St Albans asks whether workplace chaplains can help employees experiencing mental health issues”

Bishop of Derby on the role of chaplaincy in the First World War and ‘Woodbine Willie’.

On 19th October 2017 the House of Lords debated a motion from Lord Black “That this House takes note of the centenary of the Battle of Passchendaele and of Her Majesty’s Government’s plans to commemorate it.” The Bishop of Derby, Rt Revd Alastair Redfern, spoke in the debate, highlighting the role of chaplaincy in the First World War and the example of ‘Woodbine Willie’, Geoffrey Studdert Kennedy:

The Lord Bishop of Derby: My Lords, I, too, thank the noble Lord, Lord Black of Brentwood, and associate myself with the lovely phrase that it is both a privilege and very humbling to be part of this remembrance.

Passchendaele is, as we have heard, a symbol of war: the human cost, the sheer complexity of leadership and the sheer complexity of operations. Commemoration is not simply to remember but, as the noble Lord, Lord West, has just pointed out, to learn, to take something, to honour what people gave in their lives and commitment, and to see how that can inspire us and point us forward positively. It is a sign of huge issues in international relations, warfare and military and political leadership. Continue reading “Bishop of Derby on the role of chaplaincy in the First World War and ‘Woodbine Willie’.”

Church Commissioner questions: Israel/Palestine, human trafficking, prisons, social media, low carbon economy, tourism, lead theft

On 19th January 2017 the Second Church Estates Commissioner, Rt Hon Dame Caroline Spelman MP, answered questions in the House of Commons from MPs on Israel/Palestine, human trafficking, prisons, social media, low carbon economy, tourism and lead theft. The transcript is below:

spelman-190117b Continue reading “Church Commissioner questions: Israel/Palestine, human trafficking, prisons, social media, low carbon economy, tourism, lead theft”

Bishop of Rochester asks about extremism vetting process for prison chaplains

Bishop of RochesterOn 15th September 2016 the Bishop of Rochester, Rt Revd James Langstaff, received a written answer to a question on vetting of prison chaplains:
The Lord Bishop of Rochester: To ask Her Majesty’s Government, in the light of the publication of the review of Islamist extremism in prisons and the probation and youth justice services, in what ways they plan to change the vetting of prison chaplains and build on existing good practice, including vetting to counter-terrorism level.

Continue reading “Bishop of Rochester asks about extremism vetting process for prison chaplains”

Armed Forces Bill: Bishop of Portsmouth highlights support for service families and work of military chaplains

On the 11 February 2016 the Bishop of Portsmouth, the Rt Revd Christopher Foster, spoke during the second reading debate on the Government’s Armed Forces Bill. He highlighted the work of the Church of England to support the military covenant, the need to support service families and the significant work of military chaplains.

BishPortsspeechtaxcreditsThe Lord Bishop of Portsmouth: My Lords, by happy coincidence, this debate takes place almost exactly on the anniversary of the signing of the Armed Forces corporate covenant by the right reverend Primates the Archbishops of Canterbury and York. There has been excellent work with the Minister in developing the impact of that covenant, and it is a pleasure to mark that anniversary today and anticipate the maiden speeches this afternoon.

This Bill properly clarifies the obligations and responsibilities of those serving in the Armed Forces and strengthens provision for maintaining good order and handling any instances of indiscipline with proper regard for justice. These provisions and the contributions that we have heard already remind us, although they are often technical, that individuals in our Armed Forces serve, and occasionally offend, in situations of stress and danger.The House will not be surprised therefore if I briefly draw attention to the importance—and I hope the Minister in summing up can confirm this—that we should all give to the areas of pastoral and family support for those who volunteer to serve us and the nation in this way in the Armed Forces, even when their behaviour falls below highest standards. Continue reading “Armed Forces Bill: Bishop of Portsmouth highlights support for service families and work of military chaplains”

Bishop of Derby highlights work of prison chaplains and value of educational and arts projects

On the 19th January 2016 the Bishop of Derby, the Rt Revd Alistair Redfern took part in a short debate  tabled by Lord Hanningfield “To ask Her Majesty’s Government what steps they are taking to help improve education standards in United Kingdom prisons.” The Bishop spoke from his own experience of visiting a number of prisons in his diocese and of the important work of chaplains, musicians and arts projects within prisons.

DerbyThe Lord Bishop of Derby: My Lords, I, too, thank the noble Lord, Lord Hanningfield, for his introduction to the debate, especially for linking education with vocation for people in prison. As the noble Lord, Lord Addington, said, it is a very complex territory with very deep needs. A lot of research shows that the prison population represents people with multiple needs. Therefore, the task of education and vocation will be challenging. I see the importance of formal education for literacy and numeracy to help people to get jobs. I am all in favour of that, but I want to look behind that at the informal fashioning of vocation and the development of character and confidence, which allows people to enter formal learning. I will draw on my own experience of going into prisons. Continue reading “Bishop of Derby highlights work of prison chaplains and value of educational and arts projects”

Bishop of Bristol asks Government about palliative care and the future of hospital chaplaincy

Bishop of Bristol June 2015
On the 8th of July 2015 the Bishop of Bristol, the Rt Revd Mike Hill, received two written answers to questions about the future of hospital chaplaincy and palliative care.

Continue reading “Bishop of Bristol asks Government about palliative care and the future of hospital chaplaincy”