On 26th November MPs put questions to the Second Church Estates Commissioner, Andrew Selous MP, on public worship, tree planting, Christmas services, gender-based violence, Living in Love and Faith, cathedral services, Christian persecution, community support and consistory court appeals. A transcript is below:
The hon. Member for South West Bedfordshire, representing the Church Commissioners was asked—
Covid-19 Lockdown: Public Worship
Sir Edward Leigh (Gainsborough) (Con): What representations the Church of England has made to the Government on the importance of public worship during periods of covid-19 lockdown.  Continue reading “Church Commissioner Questions: public worship, tree planting, Christmas services, gender-based violence, Living in Love and Faith, cathedral services, Christian persecution, community support, consistory court appeals”
On 23rd November 2020 Lord Dholakia asked the Government “what progress has been made in settling claims under the Windrush Compensation Scheme”. The Bishop of St Albans asked a follow up question:
The Lord Bishop of St Albans: My Lords, the Windrush protests are a wake-up call to all of us and to every institution in this country. Indeed, the Church of England has set up an antiracism taskforce to look at this issue and to achieve change. Is it correct that the Equality and Human Rights Commission, which is investigating this issue with regard to the Home Office, does not have a single black commissioner on the current board? What do Her Majesty’s Government plan to do to make the EHRC more representative so that it can undertake this work? Continue reading “Bishop of St Albans asks about diversity on Equality and Human Rights Commission board”
On 10th March 2020 the House of Lords held a debate to mark International Women’s Day, on a motion from Baroness Berridge, “That this House takes note of International Women’s Day and the United Kingdom’s role in advancing equalities for women everywhere.” The Bishop of Gloucester, Rt Revd Rachel Treweek, spoke in the debate, highlighting the issues of global education, violence against women and women’s treatment in the criminal justice system:
The Lord Bishop of Gloucester: My Lords, it is a privilege to participate in this debate, although I am disappointed not to be in New York at the UN Commission on the Status of Women, which was cancelled last week. This event was to celebrate the Beijing Declaration and Platform for Action, published 25 years ago, which saw countries agree to dedicate themselves unreservedly to addressing constraints and obstacles to gender equality, thus enhancing the empowerment of women and girls all over the world. There is still much to do. Continue reading “Bishop of Gloucester speech in International Women’s Day debate”
On 18th July 2019 the Second Church Estates Commissioner, Rt Hon Dame Caroline Spelman MP, answered a written question from Tonia Antoniazzi MP, regarding equality legislation:
Tonia Antoniazzi (Lab): 277265 To ask the right hon. Member for Meriden, representing the Church Commissioners, what discussions the (a) Church of England and (b) Church in Wales have had with (i) other religious and faith bodies, (ii) the Government and (iii) the Equality and Human Rights Commission on the exemption of those bodies from equality legislation for appointments and provision of services. Continue reading “Church Commissioners written answer: Equality legislation”
On the 10th January the Second Church Estates Commissioner, the Rt Hon Dame Caroline Spelman answered a written question about cathedrals and disability discrimination legislation:
Adam Holloway (Gravesham): To ask the Right Honourable Member for Meriden, representing the Church Commissioners, what duty does (a) the Church of England and (b) cathedrals and abbeys have to cathedral choristers with long-term medical conditions under disability discrimination legislation; and if she will make a statement. (205855)
Continue reading “Church Commissioner written answer – cathedrals and disability”
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”
On 31st January 2018, Baroness Lister asked Her Majesty’s Government ‘whether they have a policy goal to reduce income inequality; and if so, what is their strategy for achieving that goal.’ The Archbishop of York, Most Revd John Sentamu, asked a follow-up question:
The Archbishop of York: My Lords, does the noble Lord agree with Wilkinson and Pickett in The Spirit Level that equal societies, in terms of income, are much happier societies and that income inequality leads people not to be happy? Does he further agree that being in work does not mean that you have income equality? We have a lot of hard-pressed families on poverty wages, hence the food banks. What are the Government going to do to create this income equality, where we can all become happier people? Continue reading “Archbishop asks government about income inequality”
On 10th October 2017 a Government statement about the new race disparity audit was repeated in the House of Lords, the Bishop of Chelmsford, Rt Revd Stephen Cottrell, responded to the statement:
The Lord Bishop of Chelmsford: My Lords, although, let me be clear, the Church of England has nothing to teach anyone else on this subject—our record is not a good one—in the diocese of Chelmsford, where I serve, which includes the east London boroughs, which have some of the most diverse communities in Europe, we have found that of course there is racism and xenophobia but there is also what has been explained to me as unconscious bias.
It is not quite the same as racism; it is those things which prevent us from seeing each other as clearly as we need to. Both in the Church of England generally and in the diocese where I serve, we have done a lot of training over the past couple of years to help people to see their own unconscious bias towards people, and this is already bearing fruit in the church context with black and global majority people coming forward into positions. I wondered whether the Government had looked at that both for us and in wider society to try to move the debate on beyond the binary thing of, “Somebody is a racist or they are not”. Continue reading “Bishop of Chelmsford responds to Government statement on race disparity audit”
On 10th October 2017 the Second Church Estates Comissioner, Rt Hon Dame Caroline Spelman MP, answered two written questions from Ben Bradshaw MP, about homophobic prejudice and violence and support for LGBT people:
Mr Ben Bradshaw:
(i) To ask the right hon. Member for Meriden, representing the Church Commissioners, what steps the Church of England has taken as a result of the Anglican Primates’ statement of January 2016 on homophobic prejudice and violence and the rejection of criminal sanctions against same-sex attracted people.
(ii) To ask the right hon. Member for Meriden, representing the Church Commissioners, what steps the Church of England has taken to prevent the imposition of (a) the death penalty and (b) other criminal sanctions on LGBT people on account of their sexuality.
Continue reading “Support for LGBT people – Church Commissioners”
On 4th April 2017 the House of Lords considered amendments made by MPs to the Government’s Children and Social Work Bill. Government Minister Lord Nash proposed that the Lords accept an amendment to provide compulsory relationships education at primary schools. The Bishop of Peterborough, the Rt Rev Donald Allister, spoke in favour of the amendment, which was accepted by the House.
The Lord Bishop of Peterborough: My Lords, I am very happy indeed to support government Amendments 12 and 13 on relationships and sex education and on PSHE. Compulsory provision and statutory guidance are necessary in these areas. The Church of England welcomes this and we very much look forward to the consultation.
We particularly welcome the decision to reverse the name and put “relationships” rather than “sex” at the heart of this policy. This is not about just sex or sex education. It puts sex in its proper context of committed and consensual relationships. But it is also about friendships, resilience, good disagreement and living with difference. It is about tackling bullying, self-image, social media, advertising and so much else. It is about supporting children and preparing them for adult life.
Continue reading “Children and Social Work Bill: Bishop of Peterborough supports amendments on relationships and sex education”