On 15th March 2018 the House of Lords debated the economy in light of the Chancellor’s Spring Statement. The Bishop of Portsmouth, Rt Revd Christopher Foster, spoke in the debate:
The Lord Bishop of Portsmouth: My Lords, my first duty today is one of great joy: to welcome on behalf of this Bench, and I am sure the whole House, the right reverend Prelate the Bishop of Lincoln, and to congratulate him on a fine maiden contribution. Its quality was no surprise to me. He is remembered with great respect in the Diocese of Portsmouth, which I now serve and where my colleague and friend was parish priest and archdeacon. I know that his erstwhile congregation in Petersfield was delighted that he was able to visit them last year. Continue reading “Bishop of Portsmouth raises plight of those struggling to make ends meet, in debate on economy”
On 15th March 2018 the Bishop of Lincoln, Rt Revd Christopher Lowson, delivered his maiden speech in the House of Lords during a debate on the economy. The text is below, with comments from other Members who spoke in the debate:
Lord Bishop of Lincoln (Maiden Speech): My Lords, I thank those who have made me so welcome to your Lordships’ House, not least those who hail from Lincolnshire, including several proud doorkeepers who either live in the county or have served there in the armed services. We share a love for our historic county, the beauty of landscape and building, not least Lincoln Cathedral, about which noble Lords may have heard from the noble lord, Lord Cormack; the pleasure of its food—I am a bigger man now than I was when I went there—and, most importantly, the rugged, independent-mindedness of its people. I also thank those who have said warm words of encouragement in this debate. Continue reading “Bishop of Lincoln delivers maiden speech during debate on economy”
On 14th March 2018, the Bishop of Durham, Rt Revd Paul Butler, received a response to a written question on school meals for children in poverty:
Bishop of Durham: To ask Her Majesty’s Government, further to the answers by Lord O’Shaughnessy on 26 February (HL Deb, cols 425–28), what measures they plan to take to ensure that all children living in poverty over the age of seven can receive a healthy meal at lunch time, as part of combatting child obesity and poor levels of nutrition.
Continue reading “Bishop of Durham receives response to written question on school meals for children in poverty”
On 26nd February 2018, Baroness Benjamin asked Her Majesty’s Government ‘what plans they have for publicising a detailed evaluation of stage one of the National Child Obesity Strategy; and when a publication timetable for stage two will be produced’. The Bishop of Durham, the Rt Revd Paul Butler, asked a follow up question about free school meals.
The Lord Bishop of Durham:
My Lords, the relationship between childhood obesity and poverty is well evidenced. In the light of warnings by the Children’s Society and others that 1 million children in poverty will miss out on a free school meal under the current proposals for changes to entitlement under universal credit, does the Minister agree that all children in poverty should receive a free school meal to combat child malnutrition by ensuring that they receive a healthy meal at lunchtime? Continue reading “Bishop of Durham – all children in poverty should have free school meals”
On the 21st February 2018 Baroness Armstrong of Hill Top led a short debate on the question to ask Her Majesty’s Government what action they are taking to promote the importance of volunteering”. The Bishop of Newcastle, the Rt Revd Christine Hardman, spoke in the debate.
The Lord Bishop of Newcastle: My Lords, let me tell your Lordships about Benwell in the west end of Newcastle. It is one of the most deprived areas in the country, with 37% of children living in poverty. It is home to one of the largest food banks in the UK, which featured in the Ken Loach film, “I, Daniel Blake”.
In his film, Loach deliberately used the real-life food bank volunteers as extras. Kathy, committed volunteer and a reader in her church, featured in the film. Kathy volunteers at the food bank because she knows what it is like to be hungry. She volunteers at the citizens advice bureau because she knows how complicated the benefits system is. She volunteers in the local school because school was one of the few sources of hope in her own difficult childhood.
Continue reading “Bishop of Newcastle praises local volunteers fighting poverty”
On 4th January 2018 the Bishop of Durham, Rt Revd Paul Butler, received a written answer to a question on school holiday schemes to combat food poverty:
The Lord Bishop of Durham: To ask Her Majesty’s Government whether they intend to consider the funding and provision of holiday programmes that would provide free meals and activities for children who would otherwise not have access to such arrangements. Continue reading “Bishop of Durham asks Government about schemes to address school holiday hunger”
On 14th December 2017 Lord Bird asked Her Majesty’s Government “what plans they have to address the root causes of poverty and disadvantage in the United Kingdom.” In the short debate on the question, the Bishop of St Albans, Rt Revd Alan Smith, spoke about the link between poverty and mental health, and also the need for action on rural deprivation:
The Lord Bishop of St Albans: I too thank the noble Lord, Lord Bird, for this debate. I want to make just a couple of points in the time I have.
Plenty of statistics have been bandied around today, and I can quote even more: 14 million people, by some counts, are living in poverty in this country, including 4 million children. The trouble with those and other statistics is that they hide the individual lives they represent: for example, the three men, whom many of us have seen, in sleeping bags in Westminster Tube station as I came in at 8 am yesterday morning; or Joe—not his real name—whom I met this morning in St Peter’s Street in St Albans as I went out to get my morning paper. There has been a visible increase in the number of people on our streets in places such as St Albans over recent months. I have got to know a number of them, and this morning, knowing I was coming in for this debate, I thought I had to sit and talk to Joe just for a minute. I felt I could not in all conscience come and speak on a subject such as this without actually finding out his name and just a little about his story. Continue reading “Bishop of St Albans highlights mental health link to poverty, and raises deprivation in rural areas”