Bishop of St Albans asks Government about workplace access to mental health services


St Albans 2On the 8th February 2017,  Lord Harrison asked Her Majesty’s Government “what measures they are taking to improve productivity in the United Kingdom economy.” The Bishop of St Albans, the Rt Revd Alan Smith, asked a follow-up question.

The Lord Bishop of St Albans: My Lords, one factor that influences productivity is issues of health, particularly mental health. Something like nearly three out of 10 employees are reporting some sort of mental health problem each year, which analysts believe is costing employers something like £30 billion a year. Will the Minister tell the House what the Government are doing to support employers in encouraging high levels of well-being and what is being done to lessen the stigma of mental ill health—in particular, encouraging employees to access mental health services that are already available to them? Continue reading

Archbishop of York – free trade must also be fair trade


york-170117-bOn 17th January, Viscount Ridley asked Her Majesty’s Government “what plans they have to celebrate the bicentenary of David Ricardo’s principle of comparative advantage, and the case for free trade”. The Archbishop of York, Most Revd and Rt Hon John Sentamu, asked a follow up question. 

The Archbishop of York Does the Minister agree that the principle of comparative advantage works only if trade is not only free but also fair? Continue reading

Bishop of Leeds calls for greater integration and connectivity in northern communities

 The Lord Bishop of Leeds: My Lords, many of the points I wanted to make have already been made, and I will not repeat them, but I do want to emphasise one or two points. When we talk about the north, I sometimes think it is a bit like the way we talk about Africa, as if it was one monolithic place. The north is not. It is very diverse, differentiated and complex. For example, we have heard about Bradford having a very young population, 23.6% being under the age of 16. Where are the jobs for them?

Archbishop of York calls for investment and devolution for the north of England


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Bishop of Birmingham speaks in Lords debate on Chancellor’s Autumn Statement


On 29th November 2016, Lord Young of Cookham moved that the House take note of the economy in the light of the Autumn Statement. The Bishop of Birmingham, the Rt Revd David Urquhart, spoke in the debate:

Bishop of Portsmouth responds to Chancellor’s Autumn Statement


portsmouth241016On 29th November 2016, Lord Young of Cookham moved that the House take note of the economy in the light of the Autumn Statement. The Bishop of Portsmouth, the Rt Revd Christopher Foster, spoke in the debate:

The Lord Bishop of Portsmouth My Lords, after nearly three years in this House, and having had the opportunity to speak in most of the debates responding to the Budget and Autumn Statements, it is not difficult to note the tendency for some contributors to applaud proposals they consider welcome; for others to criticise proposals they consider to have sectional interest or bias; and to have the expectation—or at least the hope—conveyed that the Chancellor and the Government will, and can, do even more when they are praised for welcome initiatives. I want to do a little of that this afternoon, though recognising the restrictions the Chancellor faces. I invite the Minister, and through him the Government, to reflect on what they ought to do—I introduce a moral note in using that phrase—to repair the fractures of trust, address growing injustices that are perceived as more hurtful than inequalities, and create not just a flourishing economy but a nation where people believe there is more that unites us than divides us. Indeed, my question to the Minister is whether the Government can better articulate their rationale and approach in the important area of inequality and injustice. Continue reading

2016 Autumn Statement – Response from Bishop of Birmingham


david-urquhartResponding today (23rd November 2016) to the Chancellor’s Autumn Statement, the Bishop of Birmingham, Rt. Revd David Urquhart, said:

The political turbulence of the past year and lower growth forecasts have meant the Chancellor has been given limited economic room for manoeuvre. But I welcome the emphasis in the Autumn Statement on long term stability, investment in innovation, in our national infrastructure and on supporting regional growth. To be a nation living within its means is an aspiration worth keeping, even if the revised figures for deficit reduction mean that the goal of its achievement has been moved slightly further away. Continue reading