Bishop of Coventry condemns homophobic and misogynistic attacks

On 11th June 2019 Lord Kennedy of Southwark asked the Government “whether current statute is a sufficient deterrent in preventing homophobic and misogynistic attacks”. The Bishop of Coventry, Rt Revd Christopher Cocksworth, asked a follow-up question:

Coventry171123 bThe Lord Bishop of Coventry: My Lords, I am sure that Members of your Lordships’ House would expect these Benches to join in the outrage at these attacks. We do so fully, condemning them on behalf of the Church of England and of other churches and faith communities.

The Minister will know—and I admit—that the churches and other faith communities have their own debates over sexual relationships and practices, including same-sex ones. However, does she know that the Church of England has developed a set of pastoral principles aimed at eradicating the seeds of prejudice, fear and ignorance? Does she also know that that builds on the initiative of our four-year programme in schools, stopping the seeds of hate that she described germinating at a very early age? Continue reading “Bishop of Coventry condemns homophobic and misogynistic attacks”

Civil Partnerships, Marriages and Deaths (Registration etc) Bill – Bishop of Oxford responds to amendment on same-sex marriage

On 1st March 2019 the House of Lords considered the Civil Partnerships, Marriages and Deaths (Registration etc) Bill at its Report Stage. Lord Faulkner of Worcester tabled an amendment to the Bill similar to that which he had tabled in Committee on the process by which the Church of England and Church in Wales might opt-in to conduct same-sex marriages. The Bishop of Oxford responded to the amendment, explaining that it was not necessary as there were already legal mechanisms in place for both Churches to opt-in should they choose to. The Minister also emphasised these points in her response and the amendment was not put to a vote. The Bishop’s speech is below, and the whole debate on the amendment is reproduced underneath.

The Lord Bishop of Oxford: My Lords, those were extremely moving speeches. I thank the noble Lords, Lord Faulkner, Lord Collins and Lord Cashman, and the noble Baroness, Lady Brinton, for the contributions they have made in the Chamber today and the moving way in which they have spoken. I thank them for sharing their personal experiences so movingly, and for the important and necessary articulation of the views they have heard within the broader Church of England in favour of movement and inclusion. I deeply regret the language used in writing to the noble Lord, Lord Collins, and others; it has no place in the contemporary Church.

The Church is committed to listening carefully to the wisdom of the nation, to the wisdom in our continued debate in this Chamber and to the voices of LGBTI people at all levels in the life of the church. We are committed in our public statements to the inclusion and welcome of all.

Continue reading “Civil Partnerships, Marriages and Deaths (Registration etc) Bill – Bishop of Oxford responds to amendment on same-sex marriage”

Civil Partnership, Marriage and Deaths (Registration etc.) Bill – Bishop of Chelmsford responds to amendments on marriage

On 1st February 2019 the House of Lords considered in Committee a Private Member’s Bill, the Civil Partnership, Marriage and Deaths (Registration etc) Bill. This Bill incorporated provisions on marriage registration that the Bishop of St Albans had successfully piloted through the Lords in his own Private Member’s Bill in 2018. It included extra provision relating to registration of stillborn children, and civil partnerships for opposite sex couples. 

The Bishop of Chelmsford spoke during debate on two amendments to the Bill. The first, briefly, on an amendment from the Bill’s sponsor Lady Hodgson, to enable the conversion of civil partnerships to marriage, and vice-versa, through the introduction of Regulations that could amend primary legislation, including Church of England Measures. The amendment was passed after debate.

The second on a probing amendment from Labour Peers, which was withdrawn after debate, to remove the provisions in the Marriage (Same Sex Couples) Act 2013 that give legal security to the Church of England and Church in Wales in setting and maintaining their doctrinal position on marriage.  The Bishop’s speech on that, and the responses of other Members including the Government front bench, the Bill’s sponsor and the amendment’s sponsor are below: Continue reading “Civil Partnership, Marriage and Deaths (Registration etc.) Bill – Bishop of Chelmsford responds to amendments on marriage”

Church Commissioner Questions: modern slavery, Middle East peace, Church of Scotland relations, LGBTQ community, bell ringing, Nigerian Christians, religious literacy, overseas orphanages, affordable housing, gay conversion therapy.

On 7th June 2018 Dame Caroline Spelman MP, representing the Church Commissioners, answered questions in the House of Commons from MPs on modern slavery, Middle East peace,  Church of Scotland relations, LGBTQ community, bell ringing, Nigerian Christians, religious literacy, overseas orphanages, affordable housing, and gay conversion therapy.  A transcript is below:

The right hon. Member for Meriden, representing the Church Commissioners, was asked— Continue reading “Church Commissioner Questions: modern slavery, Middle East peace, Church of Scotland relations, LGBTQ community, bell ringing, Nigerian Christians, religious literacy, overseas orphanages, affordable housing, gay conversion therapy.”

Church Commissioners’ Written Answer: Transphobic Bullying

On 7th December 2017 the Second Church Estates Commissioner, Rt Hon Dame Caroline Spelman MP, answered a written question from Ranil Jayawardena MP about guidance to schools on transphobic bullying. 

Mr Ranil Jayawardena (North East Hampshire): To ask the right hon. Member for Meriden, representing the Church Commissioners, what assessment has been made of the merits of the Church of England’s recent guidance to nursery and primary school teachers on transphobic bullying. Continue reading “Church Commissioners’ Written Answer: Transphobic Bullying”

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.

Continue reading “Support for LGBT people – Church Commissioners”

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