On Monday 7th December, the House of Lords debated the Government’s Welfare Reform and Work Bill during its first day of Committee. The Bishop of Portsmouth, Rt Revd Christopher Foster, spoke to an amendment he had tabled to require Government to assess the impact of the proposed two-child limit for new claimants on families and faith communities. His speeches opening and closing the debate on his amendment are included below, along with an extract of the Minister’s reply. The full debate, including speeches by other Members, can be seen at: Parliament.uk
The Lord Bishop of Portsmouth: My Lords, I tabled Amendment 21 to highlight the impact of this measure on different faith communities who share our concerns with this part of the Bill in particular. Noble Lords who attended the special briefing we organised two weeks ago will have heard Chaya Spitz, chief executive of the Interlink Foundation, speak passionately about the implications for the Orthodox Jewish community that she represents and is a member of. For her community, larger families are the norm and the central pivot around which everything else revolves. There is a positive, faith-based imperative to have children, to create the next generation in service of God. There is also a commonly held conscientious objection to the use of artificial contraception, except in prescribed circumstances, and to abortion, except in rare circumstances. By limiting financial support to the first two children, this policy is making a judgment that touches on deeply personal and strongly held religious and cultural beliefs about the family, and that threatens the viability of whole faith communities.
Continue reading “Welfare Reform Bill – Bishop of Portsmouth tables amendment about impact on families and faith communities of two-child limit”
“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.
The 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”