Church Commissioner questions: religious freedom, schools, recycling, thefts from churches

On 26th April 2018, questions were put in the House of Commons to Rt Hon Dame Caroline Spelman MP, representing the Church Commissioners. Dame Caroline was asked by MPs about freedom of religion in the Commonwealth, recycling, rural schools, out of school education settings and thefts from churches. A full transcript is below.

The right hon Member for Meriden, representing the Church Commissioners, was asked— Continue reading “Church Commissioner questions: religious freedom, schools, recycling, thefts from churches”

Bishop of Coventry asks Government about plans for promoting freedom of religion and belief

On 18th April 2018 Lord Suri asked Her Majesty’s Government “what director level staffing changes, if any, they intend to make in the Foreign and Commonwealth Office to provide greater capacity for that department to co-ordinate, oversee and deliver policy to advance freedom of religion and belief.” The Bishop of Coventry, Rt Revd Christopher Cocksworth, asked a follow-up question: 

The Lord Bishop of Coventry: My Lords, following on from that question, the Minister will be aware of the gathering at Lambeth Palace at the moment convened by my most reverend friend the Archbishop of Canterbury, which is bringing together parliamentarians and religious leaders from across the Commonwealth to help them work on good local practice. Would not the sort of director-level appointment mentioned in the Question ​to increase capacity help Her Majesty’s Government to partner with such initiatives to take them on to the next stage and provide co-ordination across the Commonwealth? Continue reading “Bishop of Coventry asks Government about plans for promoting freedom of religion and belief”

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”

Bishop of Durham highlights work of schools and places of worship to support Commonwealth Summit

On Monday 15th January 2018 Baroness Berridge asked Her Majesty’s Government “how they will ensure the engagement of faith leaders in events around the Commonwealth Summit in April.” The Bishop of Durham, Rt Revd Paul Butler, asked a follow up question:

The Lord Bishop of Durham: My Lords, the Minister may not be aware of the initiative of the lord-lieutenant of County Durham in having a schools conference in the lead-up, which will end up in Durham Cathedral. Will the noble Lord commend the work in schools, cathedrals and other major places of worship to engage in such things to enhance the Commonwealth conference? Continue reading “Bishop of Durham highlights work of schools and places of worship to support Commonwealth Summit”

Bishop of Coventry asks if there will be a focus on freedom of religion or belief at Commonwealth summit

On 20th November 2017 the Bishop of Coventry, Rt Revd Christopher Cocksworth, received a written answer to a question on whether the Commonwealth Summit would fund a proposal on freedom of religion or belief for the Commonwealth Heads of Government Meeting in 2018:

The Lord Bishop of Coventry: To ask Her Majesty’s Government how many funding proposals on freedom of religion or belief have been received by the Cabinet Office’s Commonwealth Summit Unit’s Kickstart programme; how many of those proposals were successful; and what was the value of the successful proposals. Continue reading “Bishop of Coventry asks if there will be a focus on freedom of religion or belief at Commonwealth summit”

Bishop of Leeds asks about religious freedom and the 2018 Commonwealth Summit

On 20th November 2017 the Bishop of Leeds, Rt Revd Nick Baines, received two written answers to questions on religious freedom and the 2018 Commonwealth Summit:

The Lord Bishop of Leeds:

(i) To ask Her Majesty’s Government what priority they have given to addressing freedom of religion or belief across the Commonwealth at next year’s Commonwealth Summit; and what funding, if any, has been allocated by the Cabinet Office’s Commonwealth Secretariat to deliver a programme of events around that issue in the run-up to the Summit.

(ii) To ask Her Majesty’s Government whether they are taking steps ahead of the Commonwealth Summit in 2018 to document levels of government restrictions and societal hostility towards religious freedom across the Commonwealth. Continue reading “Bishop of Leeds asks about religious freedom and the 2018 Commonwealth Summit”

Bishop of Coventry asks Government if freedom of religion or belief will be on 2018 Commonwealth Summit agenda

On the 18th July 2017, the Bishop of Coventry, the Rt Revd Christopher Chessun, received a written answer to a question about the agenda of the 2018 Commonwealth Summit

The Lord Bishop of Coventry: To ask Her Majesty’s Government what plans they have to include freedom of religion or belief on the agenda of the 2018 Commonwealth Summit. Continue reading “Bishop of Coventry asks Government if freedom of religion or belief will be on 2018 Commonwealth Summit agenda”