Bishop of Rochester suggests shared learning forum to improve diversity in public appointments

On 9th May 2019 Lord Holmes of Richmond asked the Government “what steps they are taking to increase diversity in public appointments”. The Bishop of Rochester, Rt Revd James Langstaff, asked a follow-up question:

The Lord Bishop of Rochester: My Lords, I am conscious that these Benches may not embody everyone’s image of diversity. None the less, I was pleased to lead the final stages of the process by which these Benches were opened to women as well as men, although none of them is here today. I have also been chairing for the last five years a process within the Church where we are tasked with increasing the proportion of BME people in senior roles in the life of the Church. We have made some modest progress, though there is lots still to do. Nevertheless, we have learned that while legislation and processes are important, as has been indicated, so are culture, attitudes and bias. I wonder whether the Government might welcome some kind of forum within which quasi-public bodies might engage with public bodies so that we can share our learning on these matters. Continue reading “Bishop of Rochester suggests shared learning forum to improve diversity in public appointments”

Church Commissioners Written Answer: diversity in church leadership

On 15th October 2018 the Second Church Estates Commissioner, Dame Caroline Spelman MP, answered a written question from Stephen Doughty MP on diversity in leadership positions in the church:

Stephen Doughty(Cardiff South and Penarth): To ask the right hon. Member for Meriden, representing the Church Commissioners, what steps are being taken to promote greater diversity by (a) gender (b) ethnicity and (c) sexual orientation in leadership positions within the Church. Continue reading “Church Commissioners Written Answer: diversity in church leadership”

Bishop of Chelmsford – Channel 4 should stay public, must invest more in diversity, programmes for children

On 17th October 2017 the House of Lords debated a Report from the Lords Communications Committee, A privatised future for Channel 4? (1st Report, Session 2016–17, HL Paper 17). The Bishop of Chelmsford, Rt Revd Stephen Cottrell, a member of the Committee, spoke in the debate. He focused on the need for proper diversity in public service broadcasting and for Channel 4 to invest more in programmes for children and young people. He also joined others in resisting calls for privatisation and questioned the logic of relocation from London:

The Lord Bishop of Chelmsford: My Lords, I, too, am a member of the House of Lords Communications Committee. We normally meet on a Tuesday afternoon, so it is nice to have our meeting through the medium of this debate, in which members past and present can speak to each other. I thank other noble Lords for joining in as well. I also want to pay tribute to the noble Lord, Lord Best, for the wise and winsome way he chaired the committee for three years and, in particular, for helping us to produce this report, which we dare to think has made a bit of a difference.

To put it simply, there is nothing quite like Channel 4. I realise that some people may think that bishops arrive fully formed, like ships in full sail, from a production line over the river at Lambeth, but all of us have other lives both past and present. In my early 20s ​I worked for several years in the film industry and saw at first hand the huge boost that was made to British film by Channel 4. Continue reading “Bishop of Chelmsford – Channel 4 should stay public, must invest more in diversity, programmes for children”

Higher Education and Research Bill: Archbishop of York supports amendment on improving diversity in universities

On the 23rd January 2017, Lord Addington moved an amendment to the Government’s Higher Education and Research Bill during its Committee stage, about access to advice about improving the diversity of university student populations. The Archbishop of York, the Most Rev. and Rt. Hon Dr. John Sentamu, spoke in support of the amendment, which was debated but not put to a vote:


york-170117-cThe Archbishop of York: My Lords, the amendment is asking the bodies concerned to seek advice from the commission and those who advise that tells them it would be good to do it this way. Because of its permissive nature, I hope the Minister will see this as helping. As somebody from a minority ethnic group, I have always benefited from the human rights commission. The advice that I have just mentioned is not intrusive; it is a good thing. Universities should hold before themselves, in all their aspects, a mirror, to see whether their leadership, in different places, reflects the nature of the university. Continue reading “Higher Education and Research Bill: Archbishop of York supports amendment on improving diversity in universities”

Bishop of Southwark praises contribution of ethnic minorities to public services and faith communities

“we should think long and hard before we endorse immigration policies that will only put the cohesion of our public services at risk.” – Bishop of Southwark, 6/7/15

On Monday the 6th July 2015 the Bishop of Southwark, the Rt Revd Christopher Chessun, spoke in a debate about the contribution of Britain’s ethnic minorities to faith communities and public institutions in the United Kingdom. The Bishop spoke about the role played by the Church, his congregations in Southwark and the public debate on immigration.

Bp Southwark May 2015The Lord Bishop of Southwark: My Lords, I am grateful to the noble Baroness, Lady Berridge, for securing this debate, as it enables us rightly to recognise the vast contribution made by Britain’s ethnic minorities both in public service and in faith communities. It was good to hear the noble Baroness speak of south London. In view of the time constraints I wish to make a brief observation and a broader comment. Continue reading “Bishop of Southwark praises contribution of ethnic minorities to public services and faith communities”

Church Commissioner Rt Hon Sir Tony Baldry MP answers written questions from Pamela Nash MP

Second Church Estates Commissioner, Rt Hon Sir Tony Baldry MP, answered a number of written questions from Pamela Nash MP on the Church of England, Churches and LGBT people. 

Church of England

Pamela Nash: To ask the right hon. Member for Banbury, representing the Church Commissioners, what assessment the Church Commissioners have made of recent trends in the proportion of Church of England congregations that are(a) from black and Asian minority ethnic groups, (b) women, (c) disabled people and (d) from low-income groups.

14.01 CCQ BaldrySir Tony Baldry: The most recent assessment of the proportion of Church of England congregations that are women and from Black and Asian minority ethnic groups was in the 2007 Congregational Diversity Audit. This was the first time such a survey had been conducted, and therefore no trends are yet available. It did not record information on people with disabilities and those from low-income groups.

The 2007 Diversity Audit showed that Black and Black British adults were more likely to belong to Church of England local congregations than their White counterparts. This results in a stronger picture of congregational strength in those dioceses where the presence of Black and Black British adults is high, for example, urban areas. Continue reading “Church Commissioner Rt Hon Sir Tony Baldry MP answers written questions from Pamela Nash MP”