“NHS staff may often be the only point of contact that trafficked individuals have with society…This is just one of many reasons why the significant reduction in chaplaincy hours by some trusts seems to be short-sighted and ill advised”- Bishop of Carlisle, 9/6/14
In the sixth response from the Bishops’ Benches to the Queen’s Speech, the Bishop of Carlisle, Rt Rev James Newcome, focused on health matters, drawing special attention to the need for action on elderly social care and on the health aspects of proposed legislation on modern slavery. He also criticised some Trusts for the recent significant reduction in chaplaincy hours.
The Lord Bishop of Carlisle: My Lords, I agree with the noble Lord, Lord Willis, that the quantity of legislation does not equate to its quality. As we have already heard, we doubtless all agree that the noble Earl, Lord Howe, and the NHS deserve a bit of a rest. However, there are none the less those who regret the fact that so little of the gracious Speech related directly to health. For instance, the charity Age UK expressed its disappointment that an opportunity was lost to put in place safeguarding legislation that would have helped prevent the abuse of older people.
“…it is impossible to understand and inhabit the modern world, especially in east London, without a critical appreciation of faith and, even more than that, a mature spiritual, moral, social and cultural worldview. Moreover, good religious education has been shown to be one of the best ways of countering religious extremism” – Bishop of Chelmsford, 9/6/14
The Bishop of Chelmsford, Rt Rev Stephen Cottrell, made his maiden speech on 9th June 2014, during the debate on the Queen’s Speech. He spoke of the importance of religious education and the positive role played by church schools. He also welcomed Government proposals in the Queen’s Speech for tackling the emotional abuse of children. The speech can also be watched on Parliament Live TV.
The Lord Bishop of Chelmsford (Maiden Speech): My Lords, I think that the correct medical term for my condition is imposter syndrome. I have suffered from that for a long time. How could a boy from Southend who was not brought up going to church and who, aged 11, fell the wrong side of the line and went to a secondary modern school end up sitting on these red Benches and speaking in this House? Because of this, I want to say something today about the place of education in the life of our nation. Continue reading “Ethos and education: the Bishop of Chelmsford makes maiden speech in House of Lords”
“Our challenge will be: how does the state craft a strategy that delivers mercy?” – Bishop of Derby, 9/6/14
In the fourth response from the Bishops’ Benches to the Queen’s Speech, on 9th June 2014 the Bishop of Derby, Rt Rev Alastair Redfern, welcomed the Modern Slavery Bill and, as a former member of the committee that examined the draft bill, made some suggestions for how it could be improved even more.
The Lord Bishop of Derby: My Lords, I should like to offer some comments on the welcome proposal set out by the Government in the gracious Speech to introduce the modern slavery Bill. I had the privilege of serving on the Joint Select Committee with other Members of your Lordships’ House under the superb chairmanship of Frank Field MP, and we all came to an agreement on a number of important issues. I want to comment on and offer some suggestions as to how we might handle the debate on this important topic, not least because much of the world is looking to see the terms in which such a Bill might be couched and how it is introduced. Continue reading “Bishop of Derby welcomes Modern Slavery Bill during Queen’s Speech debate”
“Subsidiarity must be a key principle in any reforms—working towards a more participatory democracy, in which all people feel that they have a stake in a shared society and want to engage in the democratic process….We have to insist that people do not retreat into an unthinking, uncaring nimbyism that refuses to address the real problems facing us”- Bishop of St Albans 05/06/14
On 5th June 2014 in the third contribution from the Bishop’s Benches in response to the Queen’s Speech, the Bishop of St Albans, the Rt Revd Alan Smith, spoke about the rural economy and the impact that a wide range of issues, including housing, energy security and the Government’s plans for forestry, would have on its future.
“I cannot rest content for as long as there are those without somewhere to call home and, more sharply, without security in relation to the shelter over their head” – Bishop of Rochester, 5/6/14
In the second response to the Queen’s Speech by the Lords Spiritual, Rt Rev James Langstaff, Bishop of Rochester delivered a maiden speech about housing. Welcoming some of the provisions in the Queen’s Speech about new home building, the Bishop voiced concern about supply and affordability and raised the work of Housing Justice and the Faith in Affordable Housing project.
Hear an interview with the Bishop about his maiden speech and his thoughts on joining the House of Lords here
The Lord Bishop of Rochester (Maiden Speech): My Lords, I thought that your Lordships might welcome a maiden speech as a kind of interlude in the midst of today’s business. I am most grateful for the welcome that I have received in your Lordships’ House since my introduction on, of all auspicious days, April Fools’ Day. I am particularly grateful for the courtesy, kindness and helpfulness shown by the Lord Speaker, Black Rod, the Clerk of the Parliaments and their staff. Continue reading “Maiden speech of the Bishop of Rochester: Housing and the Queen’s Speech”
..without some risk, innovation and courage in this area, local government will continue to be starved not only of cash but of the civic talent it desperately needs – Bishop of Leicester, 5/6/14
On 5th June 2014 in the first of the responses from the Bishops’ Benches to the Queen’s Speech, Rt Rev Tim Stevens, Bishop of Leicester focused on the need for revitalisation of local government. Citing political disconnect and the pledge in the Queen’s Speech to deliver a fairer society, the Bishop called for a creative reinvigoration of the relationship between central and local government, not least in the areas of health and social care. He cited Leicester’s plans for the reinterment of Richard III as an example of good local partnerships that also help create a sense of shared local identity.
The Lord Bishop of Leicester:My Lords, I want to take the opportunity of this debate to raise some questions about the balance of power between London and the regions in our country today. The gracious Speech emphasised the new financial powers to be implemented for the Scottish Parliament and the National Assembly for Wales. While this is welcome, it highlights even more acutely the need for urgent action to address the very different environment for local government in England, in spite of what the Minister briefly said to us about resourcing local economic partnerships.
After the General Election of May 1997, once the Queen had delivered her Speech to the new Parliament and departed it fell to Lord Richard, as Labour’s freshly appointed Leader of the House of Lords, to move the first item of business.
He announced to the assembled Lords Spiritual and Temporal:
“My Lords, I beg to move that the Bill for better regulating Select Vestries be now read a first time. I am not sure why I am doing this, but I am.”
On the 9th May 2013 the Bishop of Lichfield, the Rt Revd Jonathan Gledhill spoke in the debate responding to the Queen’s Speech. Bishop Jonathan addressed the areas of immigration and asylum reform along with a range of other areas relating to his interests in Home Affairs. Concluding his remarks the bishop reminded the House of the importance of ensuring a unified society, adopting polices which do not disproportionately impact those least able to make choices for themselves.