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”
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”
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”
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. 
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”
On 5th April 2017, Baroness Tyler of Enfield asked Her Majesty’s Government what progress they are making in assessing the bids submitted by local authorities for the Department for Work and Pensions Local Family Offer programme funding for relationship support services; and when local authorities which have submitted bids will be notified of the outcome. The Bishop of St Albans, the Rt Revd Alan Smith, asked a follow up question about collaboration with grass-roots organisations.
The Lord Bishop of St Albans My Lords, perhaps I may build on the response just given by the Minister. The Government can only do so much and we certainly need to see joined-up thinking and action if we are going to help these families.What are Her Majesty’s Government doing to ensure that when local authorities bid for funding for the local family offers, they are working collaboratively with grass-roots organisations—charities, churches and so on—which are already seeking to build up relationship capacity in families? Continue reading “Bishop of St Albans asks Government about working with grassroots organisations to deliver relationships support”
On 4th April 2017 the House of Lords considered amendments made by MPs to the Government’s Children and Social Work Bill. Government Minister Lord Nash proposed that the Lords accept an amendment to provide compulsory relationships education at primary schools. The Bishop of Peterborough, the Rt Rev Donald Allister, spoke in favour of the amendment, which was accepted by the House.
The Lord Bishop of Peterborough: My Lords, I am very happy indeed to support government Amendments 12 and 13 on relationships and sex education and on PSHE. Compulsory provision and statutory guidance are necessary in these areas. The Church of England welcomes this and we very much look forward to the consultation.
We particularly welcome the decision to reverse the name and put “relationships” rather than “sex” at the heart of this policy. This is not about just sex or sex education. It puts sex in its proper context of committed and consensual relationships. But it is also about friendships, resilience, good disagreement and living with difference. It is about tackling bullying, self-image, social media, advertising and so much else. It is about supporting children and preparing them for adult life.
Continue reading “Children and Social Work Bill: Bishop of Peterborough supports amendments on relationships and sex education”
On 17th March 2016 the Earl of Dundee led a short debate “To ask Her Majesty’s Government what steps they are taking to promote ongoing maternal care for children.” The Bishop of Worcester, Rt Revd John Inge, spoke in the debate:
The Lord Bishop of Worcester: My Lords, I am also grateful to the noble Earl for securing this debate because I am utterly convinced about the importance of ongoing maternal care for children. I speak as the father of two adopted children. I have learned through experience and study how crucial is the relationship that children have with their mother. It is an essential and defining part of the process of perinatal life that a bond is formed between child and mother, regardless of the latter’s conscious attitude towards her baby. Continue reading “Bishop of Worcester speaks on importance of maternal care and calls for extension of married couples’ tax allowance”