Bishop of Chester highlights impact of built environment on well-being of society

On 28th July 2014, the Bishop of Chester, the Rt Revd Peter Forster, took part in a short debate in the House of Lords on the Government’s response to the Farrell Review of architecture and the built environment. He supported the relaxing of planning laws, to enable people to have a greater say in the built environment in which they live. He also argued that architects should play a more significant role in issues of planning, cautioning that houses built in the past 20 years risked becoming the slums of the future.

14.03 Bishop of ChesterThe Lord Bishop of Chester: My Lords, reference to the Tower of Babel earlier stimulated me to speak in the gap, and I believe that there is time to do so. Skyscrapers are quite ambiguous—they work in some places but not in others. Why does the Shard work but the Cheesegrater look completely out of place? Maybe that is just my own subjective judgment. Why do some cities that have no need of skyscrapers feel they want them? Some cities in Australia that have all the space they could possibly want still have an instinct to build skyscrapers. It indicates how important the environment is for us. We see no skyscrapers in Paris or Rome. The urban planners there do not allow them. Continue reading “Bishop of Chester highlights impact of built environment on well-being of society”

Bishop of Birmingham takes part in debate on autonomy and accountability of educational institutions

01.04.14 Bishop of BirminghamOn 24th June 2014, Baroness Perry of Southwark led a short debate to ask Her Majesty’s Government what assessment they have made of the appropriate balance between the autonomy and the accountability of educational institutions. The Bishop of Birmingham, the Rt Revd David Urquhart, took part in the debate and spoke of his involvement in the investigation of allegations of mis-management in schools in Birmingham. The Bishop told the House how autonomy and accountability have been reconciled in Birmingham through setting up a diocesan board of education trust which has published an academies accountability framework. The Bishop argued for local and trusted arrangements to be developed, which are trusted by pupils, staff and parents, by the whole community and the Secretary of State.

 

The Lord Bishop of Birmingham: My Lords, I welcome the opportunity to address the topic of autonomy and accountability in our educational institutions, particularly in our schools. As noble Lords can imagine, coming from Birmingham, this is a very pertinent topic. We are experiencing a perfect storm of anonymous allegations. Birmingham City Council is conducting various investigations, of which I am a part, into those allegations. Continue reading “Bishop of Birmingham takes part in debate on autonomy and accountability of educational institutions”

Bishop of St Albans speaks in support of greater availability of defibrillators in public spaces

Bishop of St AlbansOn 24th June 2014, Lord Storey led a short debate in the House of Lords, to ask Her Majesty’s Government what action they will take to ensure that all schools, sports clubs and public service buildings have defibrillators as part of their first-aid kit provision.The Bishop of St Albans, the Rt Revd Alan Smith spoken during the debate, and expressed his desire to see a greater number of defibrillators in public spaces including churches and church halls. The Bishop commended the work of charities such as the British Heart Foundation and the Community Heartbeat trust as well as the efforts of the community first responders.
The Lord Bishop of St Albans: My Lords, I am grateful to the noble Lord, Lord Storey, for raising this important issue and for keeping it to the forefront. When I was training to be ordained, I became used to some people going off for a little doze while I was preaching. What I did not know was that, during my very first sermon, somebody—a very nice lady—would have a heart attack. Fortunately, she did not die and I got to know her and her family very well during her convalescence. I saw something of the impact of such events on families; indeed, my sympathy goes out to those who know something of this in their own family.

Continue reading “Bishop of St Albans speaks in support of greater availability of defibrillators in public spaces”

Bishop of St Albans speech marking International Roma Day

On 2nd April 2014 Baroness Whitaker tabled a question for short debate: ‘ to ask Her Majesty’s Government what plans they have to mark International Roma Day.’

The Bishop of St Albans gave a speech highlighting the work being undertaken in Luton in support of the Roma community in the diocese of St Albans, He also focused on the need to improve educational opportunities for Roma children.

14.03 Bishop of St Albans

The Lord Bishop of St Albans: My Lords, I thank the noble Baroness, Lady Whitaker, for securing this debate, Continue reading “Bishop of St Albans speech marking International Roma Day”

Sikhs and Golden Temple, Amritsar: Bishop of Coventry’s Written Question

The Lord Bishop of Coventry: To ask Her Majesty’s Government what meetings they have had or are intending to have with Sikh organisations in the United Kingdom following the publication of the Cabinet Secretary’s report on the Indian operation at Sri Harmandir Sahib Continue reading “Sikhs and Golden Temple, Amritsar: Bishop of Coventry’s Written Question”

UK Government Relations with Sikhs: Bishop of Coventry Asks Written Question

The Lord Bishop of Coventry: To ask Her Majesty’s Government what representations they have received from Sikh organisations in the United Kingdom following the publication of the Cabinet Secretary’s report on the Indian operation at Sri Harmandir Sahib.

The Senior Minister of State, Department for Communities and Local Government & Foreign and Commonwealth Office (Baroness Warsi) (Con): We continue to take the views of the Sikh community on this matter very seriously, and round-table meetings were hosted by the Foreign and Commonwealth Office on 4th February and by the Department for Communities and Local Government on 25th February. The following organisations took part:

4th February:
Sikh Council UK
Network of Sikh Organisations (UK)
Federation of Sikh Organisations
Sikh Organisation of Prisoner Welfare
Sikh Community and Youth Services
Shiromani Akali Dal Amritsar
Akhand Kirtani Jatha
Sikh Youth Project
Kesri Leher/1984 Genocide Coalition
Akali Dal
Sikhs in England
United Sikhs
City Sikhs Network
Sikh Federation UK

25th February:
Sikh Council UK
Federation of Sikh Organisations
Sikh Organisation of Prisoner Welfare
Kesri Leher
Sikh Community and Youth Services
Sikhs in England
City Sikhs Network
Guru Nanak Nishkam Sewak Jatha
Sikh Federation UK
Indian Workers Association
Young Sikhs UK
Sikh Care Society Heathrow
Sikh Community and Youth Services
Network of Sikh Organisations (UK)

(via Parliament.uk)

Bishop of St Albans On Relations With Sikh Community

The Bishop of St Albans spoke during Lord Singh of Wimbledon’s debate on relations with the Sikh community following the publication of government documents regarding British involvement in planning the attack on the Golden Temple.

He focussed his remarks on the positive role that the Sikh community has played and continues to play in British society. He welcomed the lack of violent or radical response from the community in light of the publication of the documents, but warned of the danger that it could happen. He called for a wider inquiry into the broader relations between the UK and Indian governments at the time.

The Lord Bishop of St Albans: My Lords, the noble Lord, Lord Singh, has spoken eloquently of the terrible events that took place 30 years ago.

For some seven years in the 1990s, I was privileged to live in Walsall in the West Midlands, in a very multicultural area where I was then working and ministering. I not only counted among my friends a Sikh family living next door to me, but I also paid many visits to the local Guru Nanak temple and received wonderful hospitality there. Even then, some 10 years after the events of Operation Blue Star, Operation Sundown and Operation Woodrose, I was aware of how large these tragedies loomed not just in the imaginations but in the families of my neighbours. Continue reading “Bishop of St Albans On Relations With Sikh Community”