On 31st January 2018, the Second Church Estates Commissioner, the Rt Hon Dame Caroline Spelman MP spoke in the House of Commons during a debate on a report of the Joint Committee about the restoration and renewal of the Palace of Westminster. Dame Caroline spoke twice, raising the possibility of adding Church House to the list of buildings which could be used to accommodate Parliament during the restoration of the Palace.
Dame Caroline Spelman (Meriden) (Con): I am grateful to my right hon. Friend for giving way—she is getting a lot of requests. On the subject of decanting, and just for the record—I will speak to this later—the House should know that until very recently there was a contract with Church House, under which, should we have needed to decant at short notice in an emergency, which can happen at any time, Church House had always stood ready to accommodate Parliament, as it did during the second world war. Continue reading “Caroline Spelman on advantages of Church House, Westminster hosting Parliament during renovations”
On Thursday 23rd March 2017 the House of Lords paid tribute to those who had been killed and injured, and to first responders, during the previous day’s terror attack in Westminster. The House also heard a repeat of the statement given in the House of Commons by the Prime Minister. The Archbishop of Canterbury, Most Revd and Rt Hon Justin Welby spoke of the “deep values” in British society that give us the strength to persevere:
The Archbishop of Canterbury: My Lords, I associate myself with the thanks and tributes paid today, and especially our prayers and thoughts for PC Keith Palmer and for his family. I also acknowledge the work of so many members of the public who pitched in and did what they needed to do when faced with things for which they had never been trained or prepared. Continue reading “Archbishop responds to terror attack on Westminster”
On 29th November 2016, Lord Greaves asked Her Majesty’s Government “what assessment they have made of the case for moving Parliament and central departments to the north of England.” The Bishop of Chester, the Rt Revd Peter Forster asked a follow up question.
The Lord Bishop of Chester Are we quite sure whether the people of the north would want Parliament in the north?
On 19th January 2015, the Bishop of Chester, the Rt Revd Peter Forster, took part in the debate on the Government’s Recall of MPs Bill, during the second day of its Committee Stage. He spoke three times during the debate on Lord Hamilton of Epsom’s amendment, which sought to raise the threshold at which a petition against an MP would trigger the recall process, from 10 per cent to 20 per cent. The amendment was withdrawn at the end of the debate.
The Lord Bishop of Chester: My Lords, I think that only these Benches could participate in these petitions since we have a right to vote in general elections, although there is a convention among us that we do not. I think that the last person who did so was Archbishop Runcie, who simply could not resist voting against Mrs Thatcher. He was found out and promised not to do it again, so there is a convention that we do not do it but we could. Continue reading “Bishop of Chester takes part in debate on Recall of MPs Bill”
“…we need a different kind of representation of the people besides that of MPs and those who vote for them. We need a supplementary system of representation that represents networks, groups, cultures and faiths—that whole complex ecology in which human beings live” – Bishop of Derby, 19/6/14
On 19th June 2014, the Bishop of Derby, the Rt Revd Alastair Redfern, took part in Baroness Taylor of Bolton’s take-note debate on the Labour Peers’ Working Group report on the future of the House of Lords and its place in a wider constitution. He spoke about the ability of the House of Lords to act as a advocate for a diverse number of voices from civil society and strengthen the democratic process.
The Lord Bishop of Derby: My Lords, it a great honour and privilege to follow the noble and right reverend Lord, Lord Harries of Pentregarth. I have spent a lot of my ministry following his example and inspiration. I thank him for his contribution.
I am grateful for this report and for the clear presentation of the noble Baroness, Lady Taylor. I welcome the continuing debate and the whole style of incremental reform, which is the right approach. The report begins by recognising a significant feature of our times: widespread disengagement with our parliamentary system. We keep saying that and then just moving on. I want to ask us to stop and think about that phrase for a minute.
Continue reading “Bishop of Derby takes part in debate on the future of the House of Lords”
On 17th June 2014, the Second Church Estates Commissioner, the Rt Hon Sir Tony Baldry MP, answered a written question on behalf of the Church Commissioners.
Alison Seabeck: To ask the right hon. Member for Banbury, representing the Church Commissioners how many parliamentary questions tabled to the Church Commissioners in the last parliamentary Session did not receive a substantive answer by the time of the 2014 prorogation; and when each such question was first tabled.
Sir Tony Baldry: All written questions tabled to the Church Commissioners received a substantive answer by the time of the 2014 prorogation.
On 20th January 2014, the Bishop of Ripon and Leeds spoke in favour of an amendment to the Anti-social Behaviour, Crime and Policing Bill, during the Bill’s Report Stage. The amendment, proposed by Lord Deben and co-sponsored by the Bishop of Newcastle, related to the use of amplified noise equipment in vicinity of the Palace of Westminster, and the Bishop spoke of the impact that such equipment has on worship in Westminster Abbey and St Margaret’s Church.
Continue reading “Bishop of Ripon and Leeds speaks in favour of amendment to reduce noise disturbance around Westminster Abbey”