Bishop of Newcastle asks about help for LGBT citizens facing persecution in Chechnya


On 26th April 2017 Baroness Barker asked Her Majesty’s Government “what action they are planning to take in response to reports of the persecution and detention of LGBT citizens in Chechnya.” The Bishop of Newcastle, Rt Revd Christine Hardman, asked a follow up question:

The Lord Bishop of Newcastle: My Lords, what support have Her Majesty’s Government provided and what support do they intend to provide to the Russian LGBT Network, which is helping gay men flee Chechnya? Continue reading

Church Commissioner Questions – wi-fi, art, South Sudan, House of Bishops’ Report, building repairs


spelman-190117bOn 2nd March 2017 the Second Church Estates Commissioner, Dame Caroline Spelman MP, answered oral and written questions in the House of Commons, covering wi-fi in churches, art exhibitions in churches, the Anglican Church in South Sudan, the House of Bishops’ Report on Human Sexuality, and church building repairs. A full transcript follows:

Continue reading

Bishop of Salisbury welcomes Government backing for UN LGBT advocate


Bp Salisbury 2On 8th November 2016, Baroness Goldie repeated in the Lords a statement made in the Commons by the Minister of State, Foreign and Commonwealth Office supporting the role of the UN’s independent expert on sexual orientation and gender identity. The Bishop of Salisbury, the Rt Revd Nicholas Holtam, welcomed the statement.

The Lord Bishop of Salisbury My Lords, I very much welcome the strength of the Statement. The rights of LGBTI people is often a very hot and contested matter, particularly on grounds of faith. It is significant therefore that the most reverend Primate the Archbishop of Canterbury and most other primates in the Anglican communion have committed to the decriminalisation of homosexuality and to the support of the rights of all God’s children. I wonder whether the Minister would see faith as a resource that might be useful in addressing some of the issues raised on this matter. Continue reading

Church Commissioner Questions – October 2016


On 13th October 2016 the Second Church Estates Commissioner, Rt Hon Dame Caroline Spelman MP, answered questions from MPs on school admissions, ecumenical relations, community cohesion, refugees, LGBT pastoral care, Scrooby parish, same sex marriage and cathedral repairs.

Caroline Spelman 1Church Commissioners Continue reading

Bishop of Chester condemns “abhorrent” and “evil” Orlando attacks


On 13th June 2016 Government Minister Lord Ahmad repeated in the Lords a reply to an urgent question to the Home Secretary following the Orlando terror attack. The Bishop of Chester, Rt Revd Peter Forster, asked a follow up question:  

ChesterThe Lord Bishop of Chester: My Lords, on behalf of those who speak from these Benches, I express our utter abhorrence at what has happened. Indeed, I endorse the Home Secretary’s unambiguous use of the word “evil” about those acts.

I wonder if the Minister could take a little further what the noble Baroness, Lady Barker, has just said about the importance of engaging with the leaders of faith communities to address how we can live in a way that fundamentally recognises the universal human rights in our society from which we all benefit. This is an attack on our civilisation. At root it is a hatred of our civilisation, and anyone who can get to the bottom of that with a united front against it, alongside all the security measures that need to be taken, will really make some progress. Continue reading

Church Commissioner questions: same sex marriage, Near Neighbours, Iraq, apprenticeships, ethical investment


On 5th May 2016 MPs asked questions in the House of Commons to Rt Hon Caroline Spelman MP, on behalf of the Church Commissioners. Questions were asked on same sex marriage, Near Neighbours, Iraq, apprenticeships and ethical investment:
Spelman CCQs June 2015 4 Continue reading

Written answers: Female and LGBT clergy numbers in the CofE


On 8th June 2015 the Second Church Estates Commissioner, Rt Hon Caroline Spelman MP, replied to two written parliamentary questions, on women and LGBT clergy.

Asked by Mr Virendra Sharma (Ealing, Southall) on: 02 June 2015

Clergy: Females

To ask the right hon. Member for Meriden, representing the Church Commissioners, how many members of the clergy in each of the last 10 years have been women.

Caroline SpelmanAnswered by: Mrs Caroline Spelman on: 08 June 2015

The most recent statistics available on the number of women in ordained ministry in the Church of England can be found in the table below. Continue reading