Bishop of Coventry takes part in debate on the UK’s membership of the European Union

In the House of Lords on 25th November 2014, Labour Peer Lord Liddle led a take-note debate on the case for the United Kingdom’s membership of the European Union. The Bishop of Coventry, the Rt Revd Christopher Cocksworth, took part in the debate. In his remarks, he noted that a shift in focus from economic costs and benefits to the European Union’s role as an institution of peace and reconciliation is necessary for meaningful debate to take place on the UK’s place in the EU. He noted that reform was necessary, not least to rebalance the democratic deficit between national and supra-national governance. He noted that churches may be well placed to create safe and neutral spaces in which informed and serious debate on the UK’s place in Europe can take place.

13.10 Bishop of CoventryThe Lord Bishop of Coventry: My Lords, I, too, am grateful to the noble Lord, Lord Liddle, for securing this debate, although I enter it with some trepidation in such company. I am constrained to do so by the story of Coventry, from where I come, and by the originating Christian contribution to the possibilities that some form of common life might have for Europe and, thereby, for the world. When in your daily life you see the scars of warfare upon a city, when you hear the testimony of those who lost homes and families on one night in November 1940, when each year you are joined by Germans in the commemoration of your city’s 500 dead, and when you join them as they remember their city’s thousands of dead, you know that peace counts and that reconciliation is indeed a precious gift, and you give thanks for the project which has had peace as its fundamental purpose. Continue reading “Bishop of Coventry takes part in debate on the UK’s membership of the European Union”

Bishop of Coventry receives written answer on reform and reconciliation in Iraq

On 3rd November 2014, the Bishop of Coventry, the Rt Revd Christopher Cocksworth, received an answer to a written question on the subject of reform and reconciliation in Iraq.

13.10 Bishop of CoventryThe Lord Bishop of Coventry: To ask Her Majesty’s Government what practical assistance and support they are providing to the government of Iraq in taking forward a credible programme of political reform and reconciliation in that country.[HL2201]

The Minister of State, Foreign and Commonwealth Office (Baroness Anelay of St Johns): Political reconciliation and reform are crucial if there is to be a long-term solution to the current instability in Iraq. We therefore welcome the new Government of Iraq’s commitment to inclusive governance. We will support them in implementing their programme wherever we can and have called for others in the international community to do the same. We are already providing assistance with the development of parliamentary democracy, community policing and dialogue between religious leaders. We are in regular contact with the new Iraqi government over national reconciliation and, in particular, with Vice-President Allawi, whose responsibility it is. The Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs, my right hon. Friend the Member for Runnymede and Weybridge (Mr Hammond), raised the importance of reform and reconciliation with Vice-President Allawi during his recent visit to London and our ambassador in Baghdad has also discussed it with him on a number of occasions.


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