Lords backs Bishop of St Albans’ bill on marriage registration

On 26th January 2018 the Registration of Marriage Bill [HL], a Private Member’s Bill by the Bishop of St Albans, Rt Revd Alan Smith, was debated at Second Reading in the Lords. It received the backing of Government all other parties, and having passed Second Reading now proceeds to Committee. The speeches of the Bishop opening and closing the debate, and the Government Minister’s reply are reproduced in full below:

Second Reading

12.42 pm

Moved by

The Lord Bishop of St Albans: That the Bill be now read a second time.

The Lord Bishop of St Albans: My Lords, the purpose of this Bill is to correct a clear and historic injustice. When a couple are married and that marriage is registered, there is currently provision only for a father’s name to be recorded. This is an archaic practice and unchanged since Victorian times, when children were seen as a father’s property and little consideration was given to a mother’s role in raising them. Continue reading “Lords backs Bishop of St Albans’ bill on marriage registration”

Church Commissioners’ Questions – marriage, vocations, gay conversion therapy, Middle East Christians, counter terrorism

17.12.07 Carolinespelman2On 25th January 2018 the Second Church Estates Commissioner, Rt Hon Dame Caroline Spelman MP, answered questions from MPs on marriage registration, vocations, gay conversion therapy, Christians in the Middle East, and counter terrorism measures at York Minster and other religious premises. The full transcript is below:

Continue reading “Church Commissioners’ Questions – marriage, vocations, gay conversion therapy, Middle East Christians, counter terrorism”

Church Commissioner Questions: Marriage Registration, Religious Minorities in Egypt

On 7th December 2017 MPs put questions to Rt Hon Dame Caroline Spelman MP, the Second Church Estates Commissioner, on the Bills she and the Bishop of St Albans are sponsoring to enable mothers names to be registered in equal terms alongside fathers on marriage certificates, and on attacks on religious minorities in Egypt.

Marriage Certificates: Equal Registration

Gillian Keegan (Chichester) (Con): What recent discussions the Church of England has had with the Government on enabling mothers to be registered on an equal basis with fathers on marriage certificates. [902808]

 Wendy Morton (Aldridge-Brownhills) (Con): What recent discussions the Church of England has had with the Government on enabling mothers to be registered on an equal basis with fathers on marriage certificates. [902809]

Tim Loughton (East Worthing and Shoreham) (Con): What recent discussions the Church of England has had with the Government on enabling mothers to be registered on an equal basis with fathers on marriage certificates. [902814]

The Second Church Estates Commissioner (Dame Caroline Spelman): I have had many recent discussions with Departments, particularly the Home Office, not least because of my Registration of Marriage (No. 2) Bill, which is in train. There is an identical Bill before the House of Lords that would achieve the same purpose of allowing mothers to sign marriage certificates. I am not precious about which Bill gets to the finishing line first—we just need to do it. Continue reading “Church Commissioner Questions: Marriage Registration, Religious Minorities in Egypt”

Bishop of Oxford speaks in debate on strengthening families

On 2nd November 2017 the House of Lords debated a motion from Lord Farmer, “That this House takes note of A Manifesto to Strengthen Families, published on 6 September.” The Bishop of Oxford, Rt Revd Steven Croft, spoke in the debate:

The Lord Bishop of Oxford: My Lords, I warmly welcome the report and I congratulate the noble Lord, Lord Farmer, and others involved. I find myself liking it more each time I read it. Its very modesty is its virtue, for a small number of strategic changes can make an immense difference. I speak from a background of nine years as a vicar in outer estate parishes in Halifax, in very poor communities, and seven years before my previous appointment as Bishop of Sheffield serving again some of the most impoverished regions in the country. Continue reading “Bishop of Oxford speaks in debate on strengthening families”

Sunday Telegraph covers Bishop of St Albans’ marriage registration bill

On Sunday 22nd October, the Sunday Telegraph carried a report by Whitehall Editor Edward Malnick, on the Bishop of St. Albans’ Registration of Marriage Bill. The article is reproduced below:

Church of England bids to put mothers’ names on marriage certificates

Continue reading “Sunday Telegraph covers Bishop of St Albans’ marriage registration bill”

Bishop introduces Bill on Marriage Registration

On 29th June 2017 the Marriage Registration Bill was introduced. The Bill is sponsored by the Bishop of St Albans. Its text can be read here. It would enable mother’s names to be added to marriage certificates and update the technological processes of registering marriages. Continue reading “Bishop introduces Bill on Marriage Registration”

Church Commissioner questions – European Court ruling, marriage, vocations, metal theft, Christians in Africa, debt, domestic violence, Lords reform

On 20th April 2017 the Second Church Estates Commissioner, Rt Hon Dame Caroline Spelman MP, answered questions from MPs on the floor of the House of Commons, on religious symbols in the workplace, marriage, vocations, metal theft and Christians in Africa. She also answered written questions on debt, domestic violence and House of Lords reform:

Sir David Amess (Southend West) (Con): What assessment the Church of England has made of the implications of the European Court of Justice ruling of March 2017 on wearing religious dress and symbols in the workplace. [909693]

​The Second Church Estates Commissioner (Dame Caroline Spelman): The Church of England was very concerned by the judgment of the European Court of Justice that stated that blanket bans on the wearing of political, philosophical or religious signs do not amount to cases of direct discrimination, because that conflicts with the pre-existing rulings of the European Court of Human Rights. By leaving the European Union, we presumably stand some chance of resolving such inconsistencies. Continue reading “Church Commissioner questions – European Court ruling, marriage, vocations, metal theft, Christians in Africa, debt, domestic violence, Lords reform”