Lord’s Prayer Cinema Advert Ban – Bishop of Chelmsford asks question in Lords

On 25th November 2015 the Bishop of Chelmsford, Rt Revd Stephen Cottrell asked a question of Government about the decision by Digital Cinema Media not to accept an advertisement from the Church of England featuring the reading of the Lord’s Prayer. The video can be seen on the website justpray.uk A full transcript of the exchange and those that followed, is below.


Chelmsford 251115The Lord Bishop of Chelmsford: To ask Her Majesty’s Government what assessment they have made of the freedom of religious and non-religious organisations to express their beliefs in the public sphere, in the light of the decision by Digital Cinema Media not to accept advertisements from the Church of England.

The Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State, Department for Communities and Local Government (Baroness Williams of Trafford) (Con): My Lords, freedom of expression, including freedom of the media, is fundamental to democratic society. Open discussion of faith issues has the benefit of bringing communities together, thereby giving rise to greater understand among faith groups. In this case, the decision not to accept the advertisement was by an independent media organisation. The Government made clear that they do not agree with that decision and urged the cinema to look again.

Continue reading “Lord’s Prayer Cinema Advert Ban – Bishop of Chelmsford asks question in Lords”

Bishop of Norwich speaks in support of the BBC

“The BBC has plenty of the faults to be found in all large institutions, including government departments. It has a capacity to waste money on IT projects, but no more so than successive Governments. It can be complacent and bureaucratic, but so can the Church of England and the trade unions. What seems to irritate its opponents is its very success.” – Bishop of Norwich, 14/7/15

14.06.12 Bishop of Norwich

On 14th July 2015 the House of Lords debated the future of the BBC. The Bishop of Norwich, Rt Revd Graham James, a former member of the House of Lords Communications Committee, spoke supportively of the BBC, including its integral role in promoting British values. 

The Lord Bishop of Norwich: My Lords, it seems odd that a Government so keen to promote British values in our schools appear intent on reducing the capacity of a world-renowned British institution. The BBC is increasingly referred to as though it were part of the public sector. It is not. It is an organisation financed not from the public purse but by those who use it. The fact that many of them are also taxpayers is no more relevant than the fact that those who pay their energy bills are also taxpayers. Perhaps the winter fuel allowance will now be transferred to the energy companies. The logic seems impeccable given the precedent established last week.

Continue reading “Bishop of Norwich speaks in support of the BBC”

Bishop of Norwich draws attention to social impacts of education and media

On 3rd June 2015, during the debate on the Queen’s Speech, the Bishop of Norwich, the Rt Revd Graham James, spoke on the social and cultural aspects of education, as well as those of broadcast media. The text of his speech is below and can be watched online here:

14.06.12 Bishop of Norwich

The Lord Bishop of Norwich: My Lords, the gracious Speech said that the Government intend,

“to improve schools … and create more academies”.

I declare an interest as one of the sponsors of the first academy in Norfolk, the Open Academy, set up under the last Labour Government. It is now part of a thriving diocesan academies trust committed to school improvement. So I support the Government’s overall aim to improve schools, but there are areas where the direction of travel needs a few extra signposts. Continue reading “Bishop of Norwich draws attention to social impacts of education and media”

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