Church Commissioners written answer: Equality legislation

spelman170119dOn 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”

Church Commissioner written answer – cathedrals and disability

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)

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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”

Archbishop asks government about income inequality

york-170117-bOn 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”

Bishop of Chelmsford responds to Government statement on race disparity audit

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”

Support for LGBT people – Church Commissioners

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.

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Children and Social Work Bill: Bishop of Peterborough supports amendments on relationships and sex education

14.02 PeterboroughOn 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”