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”

Bishop of Wakefield welcomes continued Government support for Near Neighbours

Lord Phillips of Sudbury asked Her Majesty’s Government what is being done to mitigate the social and cultural consequences of the weakening of community life in the United Kingdom.

The Bishop of Wakefield asked a supplementary question:

The Lord Bishop of Wakefield: My Lords, will the Minister join me in welcoming this morning’s announcement by the Secretary of State for Communities and Local Government that the Near Neighbours scheme—a very successful collaboration between faith groups and government—is being extended for a further two years? Does he also agree that the scheme is an excellent example of strengthening social cohesion in ways that are sensitive to local dynamics, and that it could serve as a model for communities up and down the United Kingdom?

Lord Ahmad of Wimbledon: The right reverend Prelate is of course right to raise the issue of the Near Neighbours scheme. It is a successful scheme in which the Church of England works with local communities, and it shows how communities and wider faith groups can come together. My noble friend who is sitting to my right famously said, “This Government does do God”. We work with people of all faiths across the country to ensure that communities are vibrant and working well together.

Bishop of Derby calls for development of community-led health and social care provision

On 11th July 2013, Lord Patel led a take-note debate in the House of Lords on future models of funding of health and social care in England. The Bishop of Derby, the Rt Revd Alastair Redfern, took part in the debate. The Bishop spoke of the need to develop community-based approaches to health and social care and called for a more holistic and whole-life approach to their provision.

DerbyThe Lord Bishop of Derby: My Lords, I, too, congratulate the noble Lord, Lord Patel, on securing the debate. As we have heard from all speakers so far, there is a strong narrative about how precious the NHS is, how high public expectation remains and the problem of rising costs—it’s own health check has just been referred to.

I want to talk a little about care systems and the models that we might need to develop. Experience on the ground tells us that care systems are very fragmented. As systems such as family stability collapse, many people are isolated and struggle to access care and health services. The current system is very skewed towards the delivery of episodic interventions around particular crises. We need to look below that. We need to step back and see how we can create a culture of engagement, support and well-being for people that puts those episodic interventions in a different context and perhaps provides a context in which they would be less necessary and less frequent. I shall raise some questions about models and capacity, not least in relation to the elderly.

I work in the county of Derbyshire. Last year, in the city of Derby, I organised a commission, the Redfern commission, which looked at models of care in our community and how we could contribute alongside the statutory provision. We had a public hearing looking at models of care for the elderly. One of the experts who came as a witness to that public hearing raised three issues. She started by talking about people’s feet and the fact that proper foot care is very important to allow people to continue to have mobility—to be able to shop, do their cleaning and have social intercourse. Very simple things that require microengagement make a huge difference to people’s well-being and health. She also talked about the reluctance of doctors to diagnose depression in elderly patients who suffer a lot of loss. She said that something like 2 million elderly people are diagnosed with clinical depression, but there are probably far more, and it is hard for them to get treatment or even support on the ground. She also raised the lack of provision of advice for elderly people about sexual health. Continue reading “Bishop of Derby calls for development of community-led health and social care provision”

Bishop of Exeter responds to the Queen’s Speech on the importance of social cohesion

bishop of exeter_500x375On the 9th May 2013 the Bishop of Exeter, the Rt Revd Michael Langrish responded to the Queen’s Speech addressing his remarks to devolution, community cohesion, and the need to address the increasing London-centric bias of policy making. Bishop Michael used the Church of England as an example of a way to successfully balance competing interests to create a sense of cohesion and mutual belonging in our society.

Continue reading “Bishop of Exeter responds to the Queen’s Speech on the importance of social cohesion”