On 21st April 2020 the House of Lords began to sit virtually for the first time, using online facilities to enable its procedures to continue during the period of social distancing caused by the Covid-19 pandemic.
The House of Commons also combined virtual and physical proceedings, with some MPs present and others using technology to participate.
In the Commons Chamber physical proceedings began as usual with prayers, read in person by the Speaker’s Chaplain. In the House of Lords the Bishop of Newcastle, Rt Revd Christine Hardman, began the first ever virtual sitting by reading prayers for those taking part in online proceedings, using a modified form of the usual Prayers for Parliament. She did so in her capacity as duty bishop for the week. Continue reading “Bishop of Newcastle leads prayers in first virtual sitting of House of Lords”
On Wednesday 28th November 2018 Lord Berkeley asked Her Majesty’s Government “what assessment they have made of the case for the disestablishment of the Church of England.” Several Members asked follow-up questions, including the Bishop of Worcester, Rt Revd John Inge, and a transcript of the exchanges is below:
Church of England: Disestablishment
Lord Berkeley: To ask Her Majesty’s Government what assessment they have made of the case for the disestablishment of the Church of England.
Lord Young of Cookham (Con): My Lords, none. Continue reading “Bishop of Worcester – “the established church is a significant force for good”.”
On 13th March 2015 the House of Lords debated the Local Government (Religious etc. Observances) Bill, a Private Members’ Bill from Jake Berry MP, sponsored in the Lords by Lord Cormack.
The Bill, which has already completed its passage through the House of Commons, would “make provision about the inclusion at local authority meetings of observances that are, and about powers of local authorities in relation to events that to any extent are, religious or related to a religious or philosophical belief.”
The Bishop of Leicester, Rt Rev Tim Stevens, spoke in support of the Bill during a debate on a series of amendments to it, tabled by opponents. The Bill passed through Committee unamended.
The Lord Bishop of Leicester: My Lords, perhaps I should declare an interest, having just led the Prayers in this Chamber. Continue reading “Prayers at Council Meetings – Bishop of Leicester speaks in support of Bill in the Lords”
During Business Questions in the House of Commons, the Second Church Estates Commissioner, Rt Hon Sir Tony Baldry MP, drew attention to the Ash Wednesday Eucharist taking place the following week in the Parliamentary Chapel, at which the Archbishop of Canterbury would preside. The Leader of the House responded.
Sir Tony Baldry (Banbury) (Con): Will my right hon. Friend ensure that on Tuesday evening, the House finishes its business promptly at 7 o’clock, so that we can all get home, finish our pancakes, and have an early night, as on Wednesday, the first day of Lent, at 7.45 am, the Archbishop of Canterbury is celebrating Holy Communion in the Undercroft chapel? Everyone working in the Palace of Westminster is very welcome to attend.
Mr Lansley: I am grateful to my right hon. Friend, and I am sure that the House appreciates the opportunity to go to the Ash Wednesday service that he advertises. I think that there is nothing on the Order Paper at the moment that would require us to extend our proceedings beyond the moment of interruption at 7 o’clock on Tuesday.
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”