On 15th January 2015, the Bishop of St Albans, the Rt Revd Alan Smith, received answers to written questions on the subjects of religious freedom in Egypt, prostitution and the Somerset Rivers Authority.
The Lord Bishop of St Albans: To ask Her Majesty’s Government what representations they have made to the government of Egypt on behalf of Mohammed Hegazy. [HL3910]
The Minister of State, Foreign and Commonwealth Office (Baroness Anelay of St Johns): We are concerned about the case of Mr Mohammed Hegazy, who converted to Christianity in 1998. We raised Mr Hegazy’s case at official level with the Egyptian Embassy in London on 7 January. Continue reading “Bishop of St Albans – Written Answers (Egypt, prostitution and the Somerset Rivers Authority)”
On 27th March 2014, the Bishop of St Albans received an answer to a written question on flooding.
Flooding – Question
The Lord Bishop of St Albans: To ask Her Majesty’s Government whether, in the light of the recent and ongoing flooding, they plan to reconsider their 2010 decision to remove the duty on local authorities to produce climate adaptation plans. Continue reading “Flooding: Written Question”
On 25th February 2014, Second Church Estates Commissioner, Rt Hon Sir Tony Baldry MP, answered a written question from Anne McIntosh on floods.
Miss McIntosh: To ask the right hon. Member for Banbury, representing the Church Commissioners, what work the Church Commissioners are undertaking to support flooded communities and farmers.
Sir Tony Baldry: Following my comments to the House on 13 February 2014, Official Report, column 1010, the Church Urban Fund have launched a ‘Flood Appeal Fund’. This follows highly successful funds set up in 2000 and the year 2007 where the Church Urban Fund and the Church of England co-ordinated the collection of money to help support flood victims and businesses. Continue reading “Floods – Church Commissioners’ Written Answer”
Baroness Wilcox asked Her Majesty’s Government what recent assessment they have made of the levels of manufacturing activity in the United Kingdom.
The Bishop of St Albans asked a supplementary question:
The Lord Bishop of St Albans: My Lords, I am sure we all want to encourage a much more robust manufacturing base in this country. An article in the Economist last week pointed out that, unlike the rest of the country, the north-east and south-west regions still saw an increase in unemployment up to the year ending November 2013. There are huge problems at the moment in the south-west, which was already facing a downturn in its tourist industry and now has floods and difficulties with trains. Is there anything the Government can do to encourage a more long-term, stronger economic and, indeed, manufacturing base in the south-west of England?
Viscount Younger of Leckie: Our industrial strategy focuses on the whole country. I note the right reverend Prelate’s point about the south-west where they are suffering so terribly from the floods. The industrial strategy has five main strands which are bearing fruit, particularly in places such as Liverpool and Tyneside, and the south-west is just as important.
The Lord Bishop of Worcester: My Lords, I am grateful for the Minister’s Statement. As we all know, attention has rightly focused on the Somerset Levels and the terrible plight that people are enduring there, but when I left Worcester this morning the city was gridlocked as a result of the closure of the main bridge across the river and the situation remains acute. I do not want to apportion blame; I want to pay tribute to those who are working very hard and to the understanding and graciousness of the inhabitants of Worcester. However, it is true that the implications of this will be enormous, economically and from a human point of view. Can the Minister confirm that a coherent policy will be forthcoming for all the affected areas, not just those most terribly affected?
Lord De Mauley: The right reverend Prelate is absolutely right—I can confirm that. We have finite resources and must apportion them in a proper way, in accordance with priorities, and the priorities must be human life and property. While I am at the Dispatch Box, can I say that, although I have not given them credit, I know that the churches in Somerset in particular are playing a major part in helping people affected by this dreadful tragedy?
In a wide-ranging debate, the Bishop of Ripon and Leeds focused his remarks on the need for a clear and coherent national strategy for responding to natural disasters such as the recent extreme flooding in parts of the country. He also urged the Government to link such a strategy with a long-term and international strategy for tackling climate change. He also commented on the role of the Church of England in education and its commitment to ensuring that there is adequate provision as the population grows. Continue reading “Bishop of Ripon and Leeds uses final speech to speak about economic and climatic challenges in the UK”