Bishop of Peterborough highlights value of sustainable farming and energy projects overseas

19.04.01 Peterborough bOn 4th November 2019 Baroness Jenkin of Kennington moved a motion that the House take note of the Government’s “international development work to promote the sustainable use of natural resources and prevent biodiversity loss”. The Bishop of Peterborough, Rt Revd Donald Allister, contributed to the debate:

Lord Bishop of Peterborough: My Lords, I too welcome this debate and the Prime Minister’s commitment to increased spending in this area. I also take note of, and agree with, the slight fear and concern of the noble Lord, Lord Bruce, that some of the money for this important work will be taken out of what ought to be spent on the relief of poverty and direct aid.

Three weeks ago I was in Israel, leading a pilgrimage looking at many of the sites mentioned in the Bible. One thing I came across that I had not seen there before but which was pointed out to me by various people was the fallow field—fields kept idle for a year to let the earth rest. I learned in geography lessons in my state county primary school around 1960 or 1961 that it was an important principle not only to rotate crops but to let the earth rest—in other words, not to squeeze everything out of it. I later discovered that this is part of the biblical teaching about the sabbath: not just that people and animals are to rest but that the earth also needs rest and recreation. That is why some farmers in Israel still practise that principle.

Continue reading “Bishop of Peterborough highlights value of sustainable farming and energy projects overseas”

Bishop of Southwark voices doubts about US Peace to Prosperity economic plan for Palestine

Southwark170718On 18th July 2019 the House of Lords debated a motion from Lord Cope of Berkeley (Con) asking Government “what assessment they have made of the government of the United States’ Peace to Prosperity economic plan for Palestine, published on 26 June”. The Bishop of Southwark, Rt Revd Christopher Chessun, spoke:

The Lord Bishop of Southwark: My Lords, I add my congratulations to those already offered to the noble Lord, Lord Cope of Berkeley, on this timely and important debate. As many of your Lordships may know, I generally visit the Holy Land twice a year. Each January, I accompany the Vatican’s Holy Land co-ordination group to the area as the sole Anglican bishop. I have experienced much Israeli and Palestinian hospitality down the years. I am only too well aware of the State of Israel’s just concerns for its security and its safeguarding of the holy places of Jerusalem, but I have witnessed Bethlehem walled in on three sides, Palestinian agricultural land divided and appropriated by military structures, and the acquisition of swathes of the West Bank and east Jerusalem for the settlement of Israel’s citizens and the exclusion of Palestine’s.

Continue reading “Bishop of Southwark voices doubts about US Peace to Prosperity economic plan for Palestine”

Bishop of Leeds asks Government about Palestinian Statehood

18.12.05 Leeds Brexit deal debateOn 10th July 2019 the Bishop of Leeds, Rt Revd Nick Baines, received a written answer from the Government, in reply to a question about Palestinian statehood:

The Lord Bishop of Leeds: HL16761 To ask Her Majesty’s Government whether they will now recognise Palestinian statehood, following the launch of the United States’ Prosperity to Peace initiative.

Continue reading “Bishop of Leeds asks Government about Palestinian Statehood”

Bishop of Leeds asks Government about progress in Israel-Palestine conflict resolution

18.12.05 Leeds Brexit deal debateOn 8th July 2019 the Bishop of Leeds, Rt Revd Nick Baines, received written answers from the Government in reply to three questions about the Israeli-Palestinian conflict:

The Lord Bishop of Leeds: (i) HL16758 To ask Her Majesty’s Government what is their assessment of the Peace to Prosperity workshop convened by the United States in Bahrain. Continue reading “Bishop of Leeds asks Government about progress in Israel-Palestine conflict resolution”

Bishop of Chester on the need to erase antisemitism

On 20th June the House of Lords debated a motion from Baroness Berridge, “that this House takes note of the incidence of anti-Semitism worldwide.” The Bishop of Chester, Rt Revd Peter Forster, spoke in the debate:

Christian complicity arose after the break between the Church and the Synagogue in the late first century of our era, and with the emergence of the view that the Christian Church had replaced the Jews as God’s chosen people. The properly New Testament view that Christians had been graciously grafted into Israel to share its promises and inheritance reasserted itself only in the 20th century, after nearly two millennia. This was partly the result of renewed biblical scholarship and partly due to the efforts of a small but distinguished group of continental Christian theologians led by Dietrich Bonhoeffer and Karl Barth, who saw the evil of Nazism.

Continue reading “Bishop of Chester on the need to erase antisemitism”

Bishop of Southwark asks Government about separation barrier in Cremisan Valley

On 11th March 2019 Baroness Tonge asked the Government “what discussions they have had with the Government of Israel about the increase in settlement building in the Occupied Palestinian Territories.” The Bishop of Southwark, Rt Revd Christopher Chessun, asked a follow-up question:

The Lord Bishop of Southwark: My Lords, I attend annually the Vatican-mandated Holy Land Coordination, as well as attending other things in the Holy Land. I shall be there in a week’s time with my curates. In the visit of the co-ordination group in 2017, we noted the injustice of the separation barrier built across Palestinian land in the Cremisan Valley and the creeping annexation of territory through settlement building. Will the Minister accept the denial of hope to the young people of Palestine that this taking of their land represents and reconsider the Government’s stand on delaying recognition of the state of Palestine in support of the two-state solution? Continue reading “Bishop of Southwark asks Government about separation barrier in Cremisan Valley”

Bishop of Chester speaks in debate on situation in Palestinian territories

On 7th June Lord Steel of Aikwood led a debate in the House of Lords ‘That this House takes note of the situation in the Palestinian Territories’. The Bishop of Chester, Rt Revd Peter Forster, spoke in the debate:

The Lord Bishop of Chester: My Lords, in this immensely complex situation, I want to comment on three historic issues which affect contemporary circumstances. The first was what I will call a reaction of the indigenous Palestinian people 70 years ago not to accept the ​decision of the United Nations to support the establishment of a mainly Jewish state and a separate Palestinian state—we must remember that that was part of the 1947 resolution. It may be that it will not work, as the noble Lord, Lord Hain, said; it may not have been endorsed later, as the noble Lord, Lord Hylton, said, but that was the original plan, and not a later plan, to sort things out. Continue reading “Bishop of Chester speaks in debate on situation in Palestinian territories”