Bishop of Chichester speaks in debate on work of Independent Inquiry into Child Sexual Abuse

On 20th December 2018 the House of Lords debated a motion tabled by Lord Campbell-Savours, “To move that this House takes note of the remit of, and arrangements for the handling of evidence by, the Independent Inquiry into Child Sexual Abuse.” The Bishop of Chichester, Rt Revd Martin Warner, spoke in the debate. That speech and extracts from others is reproduced below. The full debate can be read here.

The inquiry has had from the start, and continues to have, the unequivocal support of the institutions of the Church of England.

Bishop of Chichester calls for Christians to stand against hate speech, violence and prejudice against Muslims

Islamophobia in the United Kingdom.

The Lord Bishop of Chichester: My Lords, I am grateful to the noble Lord, Lord Singh, for his patient and insightful speech and to the noble Lord, Lord Sheikh, for securing this debate. As a Christian minister, I hope that I can contribute with humility and sensitivity in this vital matter.

As extremists attempt to divide our communities, and even seek to hijack Christian symbols to do so, it is important to state clearly and loudly that it is the duty of all Christians in this country to stand in solidarity with our Muslim brothers and sisters who suffer hate speech, violence or prejudice.

Continue reading “Bishop of Chichester calls for Christians to stand against hate speech, violence and prejudice against Muslims”

Lords approves four Church of England Measures, on property, pensions, ecumenism and miscellaneous

On 19th December 2018 the Bishop of Chichester introduced four Church of England Measures to the House of Lords for approval. The House passed the Measures after a short debate and so they were granted Royal Assent on 20th December . The House of Commons had previously passed the Measures on 11th December.

Moved by the Lord Bishop of Chichester

That this House do direct that, in accordance with the Church of England Assembly (Powers) Act 1919, the Ecumenical Relations Measure, the Church of England (Miscellaneous Provisions) Measure, the Church Property Measure and the Church of England Pensions Measure be presented to Her Majesty for the Royal Assent.

The Lord Bishop of Chichester: My Lords, the four Measures before us deal with significant areas of the Church of England’s life in ways that strengthen, update or consolidate her mission. Continue reading “Lords approves four Church of England Measures, on property, pensions, ecumenism and miscellaneous”

Bishop of Chichester on how the arts contribute to the wellbeing of society

 

On December 19th 2018 the House of Lords debated a motion from Lord Moynihan, “That this House takes note of how sport, recreation, and the arts contribute to wellbeing of society.” The Bishop of Chichester, Rt Revd Martin Warner, spoke in the debate:

The Lord Bishop of Chichester: My Lords, I too am grateful to the noble Lord, Lord Moynihan, for introducing the debate and for his magnificent speech, which covered so many areas which indicate how transformative sport can be—in ways that I think the arts can mirror.

This Christmas very large numbers will attend carol services in churches across the country. Church of England statistics for 2017 indicate that nearly 8 million people attended a Christmas service of some kind, drawn by a combination of music, architectural environment and the drama of liturgy—a topical example of the arts and social well-being in the bringing together of practising Christians and others who find that this celebration of Christmas breaches barriers and creates community and a deep sense of belonging and well-being. Of course, this experience is not only for those who are privileged but happens in our churches that serve the outer estates and areas of deprivation in our nation. Continue reading “Bishop of Chichester on how the arts contribute to the wellbeing of society”

Bishop of Chichester calls for strengthening of Religious Education to improve religious literacy of teachers and students

On 17th December 2018 Lord Alderdice led a short debate on the question, “To ask Her Majesty’s Government what assessment they have made of the report by the Commission on Religious Education Religion and Worldviews: the way forward, published in September; and whether they intend to publish any response”. The Bishop of Chichester, Rt Revd Martin Warner, spoke in the debate:

The Lord Bishop of Chichester: My Lords, I am grateful to the noble Lord, Lord Alderdice, for securing this debate and for placing our understanding of how to be in the world as the foundation for this report, Religion and Worldviews: the way forward. A national plan for RE. The report has been widely welcomed by many who are committed to the best possible teaching of RE, including the Church of England’s education office. We are grateful to the very reverend John Hall for leading the commission that has produced the report. Continue reading “Bishop of Chichester calls for strengthening of Religious Education to improve religious literacy of teachers and students”

Bishop of Chichester on care and support for those in the workplace with a terminal illness

On 17th December 2018 Lord Balfe led a debate in the House of Lords on the question, “To ask Her Majesty’s Government what steps, if any, they will take to prevent workers being dismissed from their jobs following diagnosis of a terminal illness.” The Bishop of Chichester, Rt Revd Martin Warner, spoke in the debate that followed:

The Lord Bishop of Chichester: My Lords, I greatly welcome this debate, and thank the noble Lord, Lord Balfe, for bring this important matter to our attention. I also welcome the TUC’s support of the courageous work of Jacci Woodcock in highlighting the issue, on the basis of her own experience.

As a trustee of the diocese of Chichester, I share responsibility for employing nearly 100 staff but also for the care of some 400 clergy. These clergy are office-holders, not employees, and many live in accommodation they occupy by virtue of their office. A terminal illness for one of those clergy, as for anybody else, carries the prospect of multiple concerns, but especially for those dependent on them. The loss of income and a home are primary concerns, alongside the personal challenges of failing health and dependence on others—often difficult for those more familiar with caring for others. The potential loss of their home goes right to the heart of the fear of death and the implications for a family—particularly if there are issues such as schooling and the future of children—that a terminal illness brings. When a family is most challenged, networks of social relationships are immensely sensitive. Continue reading “Bishop of Chichester on care and support for those in the workplace with a terminal illness”

Bishop of Chichester calls for more investment in music education in schools

On 18th October 2018 the House of Lords debated a motion from Lord Black of Brentwood “that this House takes note of the state of music education in schools.” The Bishop of Chichester, Rt Revd Martin Warner, spoke in the debate:

Chichester190718The Lord Bishop of Chichester: My Lords, I am grateful to the noble Lord, Lord Black, for his magnificent introduction to this debate, and for the opportunity for us to remind ourselves of the vital importance of music and the arts generally to the creative industries and the life of our nation.

The decline in funding for music in schools, and in its take-up at GCSE and A-level, has already been identified and the crisis we now face has been rehearsed. I add my voice to those who have called for a thorough review, and possibly the abolition of the EBacc as a means of addressing the situation. Continue reading “Bishop of Chichester calls for more investment in music education in schools”