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”

Bishop of Chichester highlights impact on UK arts of EU withdrawal

On 11th October 2018 the House of Lords debated a motion from Lord Bragg, “That this House takes note of the impact on the arts of the United Kingdom’s withdrawal from the European Union.” 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 Bragg, for the opportunity to consider the vital and pressing question of the impact that Brexit will have on the arts, in which we are internationally recognised as a world-class leader.

The arts can be misrepresented as an elitist and London-centric field. That view should neither pass unchallenged nor be allowed to become a self-fulfilling prophecy. There is a complex but demonstrable link between the arts and tourism, which in 2016 contributed £66 billion to the national economy. The Association of Leading Visitor Attractions, ALVA, has noted that across the tourism industry there has already been a fall in the number of EU workers, resulting in staff shortages and the use of staff who lack essential skills. ALVA has called for tourism to be considered favourably ​by government in any arrangement that would allow certain industry sectors to have preferential access to EU labour markets. Continue reading “Bishop of Chichester highlights impact on UK arts of EU withdrawal”

Bishop of Chichester highlights importance of arts and education in first speech to the Lords

On 19th July 2018 the Bishop of Chichester, Rt Revd Martin Warner, delivered his first speech in the House of Lords, during a debate led by Lord Norton of Louth, “That this House takes note of the value to the United Kingdom of higher education as an export.” The full text of his speech is below, as are the welcoming remarks from other Members of the House:

The Lord Bishop of Chichester (Maiden Speech): My Lords, I begin by recording my thanks for the welcome and encouragement that I have received both today and on so many occasions since being introduced into your Lordships’ House. Continue reading “Bishop of Chichester highlights importance of arts and education in first speech to the Lords”

Bishop of London introduced to House of Lords

On Thursday 24th May 2018 the Bishop of London, Rt Revd Sarah Mullally, was Introcuced to the House of Lords by the Archbishop of Canterbury and Bishop of Chichester, and took her seat on the Bishops’ Benches.

Continue reading “Bishop of London introduced to House of Lords”