Church Commissioners’ Written Answers: carbon emissions, religious freedom, strategic development funding, church planting, green investments, the Democratic Republic of Congo and South Sudan, the Primates’ Meeting, new technologies, marriage and family life

On 13th February 2020 the Second Church Estates Commissioner, Andrew Selous MP, answered written questions from Jim Shannon MP, on carbon emissions, religious freedom, strategic development funding, church planting, green investments, the Democratic Republic of Congo and South Sudan, the Primates’ Meeting, new technologies, marriage and family life.

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Bishop of Oxford on climate emergency and work of church

In his letter to the whole world in 2015, Pope Francis notes how

“the earth herself, burdened and laid waste, is among the most abandoned and maltreated of our poor”.

Our response must be nothing less, he argues, than an “ecological conversion” of every person and every part of society. Responding to the current emergency is the responsibility of every family, workplace, village, town and city, company and public institution.

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Bishop of St Albans asks about scale of and response to fly-tipping

On 6th February 2020 the Bishop of St Albans, Rt Revd Alan Smith, received a written answer to a question on the scale of and response to fly-tipping:
The Lord Bishop of St Albans: HL944 To ask Her Majesty’s Government what assessment they have made of whether there has been any increase in fly-tipping in the last five years; and what consideration they have given to legislative and regulatory reforms to support local authorities and the police in the prevention of such a crime.

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Bishop of Oxford asks Government about links between food security, poor nutrition and climate change

On 28th January 2020 the House of Lords debated a question from Lord Collins of Highbury, asking Government”what consideration they have given to formulating their pledge at the Tokyo Nutrition for Growth 2020 summit, and what they are doing to build commitments from other countries.” The Bishop of Oxford, Rt Revd Steven Croft, spoke in the debate:

The Lord Bishop of Oxford: My Lords, I, too, welcome this timely debate. I thank the noble Lord, Lord Collins, and welcome the opportunity offered by the Tokyo Nutrition for Growth Summit.

It is moving to note, as other noble Lords have mentioned, that the number of people suffering from hunger has been increasing since 2015, albeit slowly. We know that behind the statistics lie terrible and moving stories of human suffering, disease and death, especially across Asia and sub-Saharan Africa. It is sobering to ponder on the one hand the challenge of providing a sustainable diet and preventing the lifelong consequences of malnutrition and, on the other, the striking rise in obesity across the world and consequent health problems. Continue reading “Bishop of Oxford asks Government about links between food security, poor nutrition and climate change”

Bishop of Salisbury asks questions on plastic waste trade and recycling

On 22nd January 2020 the Bishop of Salisbury, Rt Revd Nicholas Holtam, received answers to two written questions on plastic waste:
The Lord Bishop of Salisbury:
(i) HL226 To ask Her Majesty’s Government what assessment they have made of the illegal shipment of plastic waste from the UK to Malaysia, following the decision by the government of China to ban any international plastic waste being processed within mainland China.
(ii) HL227 To ask Her Majesty’s Government what progress they have made towards reducing the production of unnecessary plastic and encouraging the development of alternatives to plastic.

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Bishop of St Albans asks Government about scale of fly-tipping, and powers to prevent

On 21st January 2020 the Bishop of St Albans, Rt Revd Alan Smith, received a written answer to a question on fly-tipping:
The Lord Bishop of St Albans: HL164 To ask Her Majesty’s Government what assessment they have made of the prevalence of fly-tipping in England; whether it has increased over the last five years; and whether local authorities have sufficient powers to prevent fly-tipping.

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Bishop of Oxford responds to Queen’s Speech debate, warns of”environmental catastrophe”

On 7th January 2020 the Bishop of Oxford, Rt Revd Steven Croft, spoke during the second day of debate on the Queen’s Speech, on the topic of the environment and climate change:

The Lord Bishop of Oxford: My Lords, I rise to speak about the climate emergency and declare an interest as a member of the advisory board of the Environmental Change Institute in the University of Oxford. It is a privilege to share in this debate and particularly to welcome the maiden speech of the noble Baroness, Lady Ritchie of Downpatrick. Her commitment to her local community and depth of wisdom are very clear.

The Minister said in his opening address that climate change will test us all, and it will.

David Wallace-Wells’s book, The Uninhabitable Earth, should be required reading for every Member of this House as we move forward. Wallace-Wells begins his graphic description of the future of the earth with the unforgettable words:

“It is much, much worse than you think.”

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