Bishop of Southwark voices doubts about US Peace to Prosperity economic plan for Palestine

Southwark170718On 18th July 2019 the House of Lords debated a motion from Lord Cope of Berkeley (Con) asking Government “what assessment they have made of the government of the United States’ Peace to Prosperity economic plan for Palestine, published on 26 June”. The Bishop of Southwark, Rt Revd Christopher Chessun, spoke:

The Lord Bishop of Southwark: My Lords, I add my congratulations to those already offered to the noble Lord, Lord Cope of Berkeley, on this timely and important debate. As many of your Lordships may know, I generally visit the Holy Land twice a year. Each January, I accompany the Vatican’s Holy Land co-ordination group to the area as the sole Anglican bishop. I have experienced much Israeli and Palestinian hospitality down the years. I am only too well aware of the State of Israel’s just concerns for its security and its safeguarding of the holy places of Jerusalem, but I have witnessed Bethlehem walled in on three sides, Palestinian agricultural land divided and appropriated by military structures, and the acquisition of swathes of the West Bank and east Jerusalem for the settlement of Israel’s citizens and the exclusion of Palestine’s.

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Bishop of Southwark asks Government about separation barrier in Cremisan Valley

On 11th March 2019 Baroness Tonge asked the Government “what discussions they have had with the Government of Israel about the increase in settlement building in the Occupied Palestinian Territories.” The Bishop of Southwark, Rt Revd Christopher Chessun, asked a follow-up question:

The Lord Bishop of Southwark: My Lords, I attend annually the Vatican-mandated Holy Land Coordination, as well as attending other things in the Holy Land. I shall be there in a week’s time with my curates. In the visit of the co-ordination group in 2017, we noted the injustice of the separation barrier built across Palestinian land in the Cremisan Valley and the creeping annexation of territory through settlement building. Will the Minister accept the denial of hope to the young people of Palestine that this taking of their land represents and reconsider the Government’s stand on delaying recognition of the state of Palestine in support of the two-state solution? Continue reading “Bishop of Southwark asks Government about separation barrier in Cremisan Valley”

Bishop of Chester speaks in debate on situation in Palestinian territories

On 7th June Lord Steel of Aikwood led a debate in the House of Lords ‘That this House takes note of the situation in the Palestinian Territories’. The Bishop of Chester, Rt Revd Peter Forster, spoke in the debate:

The Lord Bishop of Chester: My Lords, in this immensely complex situation, I want to comment on three historic issues which affect contemporary circumstances. The first was what I will call a reaction of the indigenous Palestinian people 70 years ago not to accept the ​decision of the United Nations to support the establishment of a mainly Jewish state and a separate Palestinian state—we must remember that that was part of the 1947 resolution. It may be that it will not work, as the noble Lord, Lord Hain, said; it may not have been endorsed later, as the noble Lord, Lord Hylton, said, but that was the original plan, and not a later plan, to sort things out. Continue reading “Bishop of Chester speaks in debate on situation in Palestinian territories”

Church Commissioner Questions: modern slavery, Middle East peace, Church of Scotland relations, LGBTQ community, bell ringing, Nigerian Christians, religious literacy, overseas orphanages, affordable housing, gay conversion therapy.

On 7th June 2018 Dame Caroline Spelman MP, representing the Church Commissioners, answered questions in the House of Commons from MPs on modern slavery, Middle East peace,  Church of Scotland relations, LGBTQ community, bell ringing, Nigerian Christians, religious literacy, overseas orphanages, affordable housing, and gay conversion therapy.  A transcript is below:

The right hon. Member for Meriden, representing the Church Commissioners, was asked— Continue reading “Church Commissioner Questions: modern slavery, Middle East peace, Church of Scotland relations, LGBTQ community, bell ringing, Nigerian Christians, religious literacy, overseas orphanages, affordable housing, gay conversion therapy.”

Bishop of Worcester raises critical situation of Anglican-run hospital in Gaza

The Lord Bishop of Worcester: My Lords, while argument goes on internationally about who was responsible for what happened in Gaza, is the Minister aware of the enormous suffering that continues there, particularly since the dreadful events of a little while ago? At the Al-Ahli Arab Hospital, run by the Anglican Church in Gaza, for example, the situation is described as critical. Is the Minister aware of that? What humanitarian aid is being provided to the people of Gaza at present, particularly to those injured? Continue reading “Bishop of Worcester raises critical situation of Anglican-run hospital in Gaza”

Bishop of Southwark asks about access to medical care for injured protesters in Gaza

On 24th May the Bishop of Southwark, Rt Revd Christopher Chessun, received a written answer to a question on access to medical care in Gaza for those injured in recent protests:
The Lord Bishop of Southwark: To ask Her Majesty’s Government what discussions they have had with the government of Israel about the
scale of acute and long-term medical care available to those injured in the protests at the border with Gaza between 30 March and 14 May, including the provision of increased resources in Gaza and access to facilities on the West Bank and in Israel. [HL7951]

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Bishop of Worcester asks Government about ‘real, substantial hope’ for Gaza

On 15th May 2018, Lord Ahmad repeated the answer to an urgent question asked in the House of Commons on violence at the Gaza border and its impact on the Middle East peace process. The Bishop of Worcester, the Rt Revd John Inge, responded:

The Lord Bishop of Worcester: My Lords, I am grateful to Her Majesty’s Government for the careful yet very specific response they have given to the appalling loss of life at the border between Gaza and the state of Israel yesterday. The thoughts and prayers of this Bench are with all those affected. It is good to know that the Minister supports an independent review of what happened. At the same time, will the Minister agree that, while the United Kingdom recognises the integrity of the border—and, indeed, of all Israel’s pre-1967 borders—and the security of Israel’s prosperous and pluriform society, the defence of its interests must offer tangible hope to those with whom it hopes to engage in dialogue? The phrase, “a glimmer of hope” was mentioned a moment ago. I was in Gaza about four years ago. The situation then was desperate ​and deteriorating. It is infinitely worse now. What real, substantial hope can be given to those who live in what is effectively a vast open prison? Continue reading “Bishop of Worcester asks Government about ‘real, substantial hope’ for Gaza”