Introduction of Bishop of Lincoln, Rt Revd Christopher Lowson

On 14th September 2017 the Bishop of Lincoln, Rt Revd Christopher Lowson, was introduced to the House of Lords and took his seat. The Bishops of Gloucester and Newcastle acted as his supporters. Here is a description of the ceremony of introduction:

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Bishop of Newcastle speaks about transport links to Holy Island of Lindisfarne

On 20th July 2017 the House of Lords debated a motion from Lord Berkeley “that this House takes note of the transport needs of remote island communities in England.” The Bishop of Newcastle, Rt Revd Christine Hardman, spoke about the Holy Island of Lindisfarne in Northumberland:

The Lord Bishop of Newcastle: My Lords, islands are special places and I am so grateful to the noble Lord, Lord Berkeley, for this debate and for learning, in his speech and those which have followed, so much more about the context of the Isles of Scilly. I discovered the Isles of Scilly only a few years ago. They are magical but after the boat trip over there, I understood why you can buy fridge magnets saying “I survived the ‘Scillonian’”.

Today, it is the transport needs of another remote island community I wish to speak about: the Holy Island of Lindisfarne in Northumberland. It is a very special place in my diocese. The island has been designated as an area of outstanding natural beauty. There is a national nature reserve covering 3,500 hectares. It has a rich historical and spiritual heritage including Lindisfarne Castle, owned by the National Trust, and Lindisfarne Priory, managed by English Heritage. The Holy Island of Lindisfarne is of course where St Aidan founded his monastery in the 7th century and based his mission to the people of Northumbria. Continue reading “Bishop of Newcastle speaks about transport links to Holy Island of Lindisfarne”

Bishop of Newcastle asks Government about expansion plans for Tyne and Wear Metro

On 20th July 2017 in the House of Lords Baroness Quin asked the Government “what are their priorities for transport investment in the North East of England over the next two years”. The Bishop of Newcastle, Rt Revd Christine Hardman, asked a follow up question:

The Lord Bishop of Newcastle: My Lords, the proposed expansion of the Tyne and Wear Metro by the North East Combined Authority will provide very important greater access for rural towns and villages and opportunities for local rail integration. How will the Government support the North East Combined Authority to make this planned extension a reality? I will be grateful to hear from the Minister. Continue reading “Bishop of Newcastle asks Government about expansion plans for Tyne and Wear Metro”

Financial Guidance and Claims Bill: Bishop of Newcastle supports amendment to help families struggling with debt

The Government’s Financial Guidance and Claims Bill was considered in Committee in the House of Lords on 19th July 2017. The Bishop of Newcastle, Rt Revd Christine Hardman, supported an amendment to the Bill to enable families in financial difficulty to receive a breathing space for repayment of debts:

The Lord Bishop of Newcastle: My Lords, I, too, rise to speak in support of Amendment 41. I declare an interest as a vice-president of the Children’s Society.

In the area covered by the Diocese of Newcastle, the Children’s Society data tell me that there are more than 42, 000 children living in poverty and that almost 18,000 children from almost 16,000 families are living with the blight of problem debt. Last year, I read a report in the New York Times on a large, randomised trial involving 21,000 people on the efficacy of various aid mechanisms to bring people out of poverty and debt. What emerged surprised the researchers. It emerged that one key mechanism is more effective than any other, and that mechanism is hope. Families that are stressed and trapped in poverty and debt can feel real hopelessness that becomes entirely self-fulfilling. Give people a reason to hope, and it can make an extraordinary and real difference. Continue reading “Financial Guidance and Claims Bill: Bishop of Newcastle supports amendment to help families struggling with debt”

Bishop of Newcastle raises concerns around mental health in schools

On 17th July 2017, Baroness Lawrence of Clarendon asked “Her Majesty’s Government when they intend to bring forward proposals to reform Child and Adolescent Mental Health Services as outlined in their 2017 manifesto.” The Bishop of Newcastle, the Rt Rev Christine Hardman followed up with a question on mental health in schools. 

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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”

Bishop of Newcastle on importance of building homes, communities, not just houses

On 2nd March 2017 the House of Lords debated a motion from Lord Hollick “That this House takes note of the Report from the Economic Affairs Committee, Building More Homes (1st Report, HL Paper 20).” The Bishop of Newcastle, Rt Revd Christine Hardman, spoke in the debate:

Newcastle 2The Lord Bishop of Newcastle: My Lords, I warmly welcome this excellent report from the Economic Affairs Committee. My conversations with local authorities, housing associations and chamber of commerce colleagues in the north-east have endorsed the power of its analysis. The report demonstrates the complexity and long-standing dysfunctionality of the housing market with a terrifying clarity. Continue reading “Bishop of Newcastle on importance of building homes, communities, not just houses”