Nigerian kidnapping – Bishop of Oxford asks Government about dialogue with Boko Haram

In the House of Lords on 14th May 2014 Lord Bach asked Her Majesty’s Government “what action they have taken to assist the Government of Nigeria to rescue the schoolgirls abducted by Boko Haram.” The Bishop of Oxford, Rt Rev John Pritchard, asked a supplementary question:

11.12.15 Bishop of Oxford

The Lord Bishop of Oxford: My Lords, would the Minister agree with the comments made by the most reverend Primate the Archbishop of Canterbury last weekend to the effect that, however abhorrent we may feel the organisation to be, it is necessary to engage in some way with Boko Haram and to do that at different levels? If that is the case, would the Minister give some indication of what kind of support or encouragement the Government are giving to that dialogue between Boko Haram and the Government of Nigeria?

Baroness Warsi: The most reverend Primate’s comments about negotiations or discussions with Boko Haram are quite right and, as the right reverend Prelate says, they are certainly something which the Nigerian Government have to take forward. I know that he has a considerable history of dealing with this kind of situation in Nigeria and, indeed, of being involved in mediation processes. However, the message that HMG have been strongly sending out, along with our international partners, is that this is an abhorrent crime, that the girls must be returned unconditionally and that this is not something we need to feel that Boko Haram has negotiating power over. There is a longer-term challenge in relation to tackling Boko Haram but I am not sure that that needs to be done over the lives of these young girls.

(via parliament.uk)

Church of England (Miscellaneous Provisions) Measure passes in Lords – debate

11.12.15 Bishop of OxfordOn 13th May 2014 the Church of England (Miscellaneous Provisions) Measure was passed by the House of Lords. A transcript of the short debate, led by the Rt Revd John Pritchard, Bishop of Oxford, is below. More information about the measure can be found here.

 

Lord Newby: My Lords, I have it in command from Her Majesty the Queen and His Royal Highness the Prince of Wales to acquaint the House that they, having been informed of the purport of the Church of England (Miscellaneous Provisions) Measure, have consented to place their prerogative and interest, so far as they are affected by the Measure, at the disposal of Parliament for the purposes of the Measure.

Continue reading “Church of England (Miscellaneous Provisions) Measure passes in Lords – debate”

Vote – Immigration Bill

On 12th May 2014, the Rt Revd John Pritchard, Bishop of Oxford, took part in a division on the Government’s Immigration Bill, during the ‘ping pong’ stage of the Bill.

House of Lords Division Lobby
House of Lords Division Lobby

Labour Peer Baroness Smith of Basildon moved Motion B1, as an amendment to Motion B, to leave out from “House” to end and insert “do insist on its Amendment 18.” The amendment sought to refer the question of when and how the citizenship of a naturalised British citizen can be withdrawn to a Joint Select Committee. The amendment had originally been tabled by Lord Pannick and passed during Report Stage in the House of Lords.

The Bishop of Oxford voted ‘content’ with Baroness Smith’s motion. No bishop voted ‘not content.’

There were Contents: 193 / Not Contents: 286. Result: Government Win

(via Parliament.uk)

Bishop of Oxford asks for Government assurances on nurse / patient ratios in NHS

On 12th May 2014 Baroness Kennedy of Cradley asked Her Majesty’s Government “what steps are being taken to ensure adequate levels of nursing staff in the National Health Service.”

The Bishop of Oxford asked a supplementary question, drawing parallels between staffing obligations and the situation of Thanet Clinical Commissioning Group, which had been warned about disregarding NICE guidelines on another case:

11.12.15 Bishop of OxfordThe Lord Bishop of Oxford: My Lords, given the court ruling last week against  Thanet Clinical Commissioning Group, saying that it was obliged to follow NICE guidelines unless a special factor could be determined that would justify departure, will Her Majesty’s Government give an assurance that the same test will apply to NHS trusts in regard to the ratio of nurses and patients?

Earl Howe: The guidance issued today by NICE on staffing ratios, to which I think the right reverend Prelate is specifically referring, is in draft, but the deputy chief executive of NICE has stressed that there are no floor or ceiling numbers on the required number of nursing staff that can be applied either across the whole of the NHS or in a particular ward setting. What the profession is seeking, and what NICE is looking to give it, is a reference tool or guideline that will enable it to judge correct staffing levels in accordance with the particular circumstances of a ward and the skill mix of the staff on that ward. It is a guideline rather than a mandatory prescription.

(via Parliament.uk)

Bishop of Oxford announces retirement

11.12.15 Bishop of Oxford11th April 2014: The Diocese of Oxford has announced that Rt Rev John Pritchard will retire as Bishop of Oxford on 31st October this year. Bishop John, who chairs the Church of England’s Board of Education and leads for the Bishops in the House of Lords on education & church schools, will also cease to be a member of the Lords on that date. Continue reading “Bishop of Oxford announces retirement”

The Bishop of Leicester speaks in favour of updating guidance on sex and relationship education

The Bishop of Leicester spoke in the debate on the Report Stage of the Children & Families Bill. He spoke in favour of Amendment 53, on behalf of the Bishop of Oxford, who co-sponsored the amendment. The amendment called for guidance on sex and relationship education to be updated in light of technological changes. He spoke of the need for holistic education of children, and reflected on the conclusions of the ‘Good Childhood’ commission that children themselves are keen to develop strong and healthy relationships. The amendment was not pressed to a votLeicestere.

The Lord Bishop of Leicester: My Lords, I support Amendment 53 and speak in place of the right reverend Prelate the Bishop of Oxford, who has lent his name to it but cannot be in his place today. Personally, I find myself on the side of those who want PSHE to be a formal part of the curriculum and Amendment 53 goes some way in that direction.

I have three brief points to make. First, we on these Benches see social, emotional and spiritual intelligence as a vital part of a child’s development. We are not just interested in raising children who can pass exams, but in creating opportunities for young people to take control of their lives and values. Secondly, it is clear that there is a strong and growing coalition of organisations involved in this work, which have some knowledge in this area, and which support this proposal, including the Children’s Society the Mothers Union and many others.

Thirdly, I speak as a former chair of the Children’s Society and as a member of the Good Childhood commission, which reported four years or so ago, and which took evidence from more than 5,000 children. It was not evidence on this specific point, but it was evidence on the general point of what children understand makes for their well-being. Over and over again, children said that one of their top priorities was their friendships. They were trying to find their way through a complex, labyrinthine world in which friendships, intimacy and relationships had to be understood in this technological age, which has been so vividly described by previous speakers, where it was children who were asking for help in this area.

That is the most telling contribution I want to make to this debate. We do not have children in this House; we do not have the voice of children here. If we listen carefully to what they are saying to us through the Good Childhood Report and in other ways, we will find that they want our generation to help them to understand who they are and who they are with others in this completely new world, which has not shaped the relationships or outlooks of any Members of your Lordships’ House. For that reason, I strongly support Amendment 53.

Bishop of Oxford supports amendments to Children and Families Bill

On 11th November 2013, the Bishop of Oxford, the Rt Revd John Pritchard, took part in the Committee Stage of the Government’s Children and Families Bill. He spoke in favour of two amendments – one of the duty of schools to promote the academic, spiritual, cultural, mental and physical development of children and the second on the welfare of children who are asylum seekers. Neither amendment was put to a division of the House.  

Bishop of OxfordThe Lord Bishop of Oxford: My Lords, I also would like to speak briefly in support of Amendment 233, which was so ably and vividly introduced by the noble Baroness, Lady Jones. I have a particular responsibility in the Church of England for education, so I am pleased to be able to bring that authority and support, as it were, on behalf of all the schools that I represent. This is a small but important and crucial piece of work. Continue reading “Bishop of Oxford supports amendments to Children and Families Bill”