Bishop of Southwark – challenges to parliamentary democracy posed by referendums

On 19th July¬†Lord Higgins led a debate on the motion, “That this House takes note of the impact on parliamentary democracy in the United Kingdom of the use of referendums.” The Bishop of Southwark, Rt Revd Christopher Chessun, spoke in the debate:

The Lord Bishop of Southwark: My Lords, I, too, congratulate the noble Lord, Lord Higgins, on securing the debate, which, as others have observed, is timely. A man who secured a silver medal in the 440 yards relay in the Commonwealth Games in 1950 knows how to pace himself. I also congratulate the noble Lord, Lord Pickles, on his maiden speech with all its fascinating revelations. I look forward to the maiden speech of the noble Lord, Lord Anderson of Ipswich, shortly.

Of course, I acknowledge that the United Kingdom cherishes a parliamentary democracy. That key point, and all that flows from it, has been powerfully argued by the noble Lord, Lord Higgins. It is the genius of this country that over time we have made use of ancient yet enduring institutions and constantly evolving constitutional practices to serve a thoroughly modern society. The Church was present in the counsels that predated Parliament and the estates that first gathered here. It has witnessed both the supremacy of the other place and the extension of the franchise. We are being looked down upon in stone effigy by those who witnessed Magna Carta, including two archbishops. Continue reading “Bishop of Southwark – challenges to parliamentary democracy posed by referendums”

Church Commissioner answer: contingency in event of a vote to leave EU

On 15th January 2016 the Second Church Estates Commissioner answered a written question from Tim Loughton MP on contingency plans in the event of a vote to leave the EU:

Tim Loughton (East Worthing and Shoreham): To ask the right hon. Member for Meriden, representing the Church Commissioners, what contingency arrangements the Church Commissioners have made for the eventuality of a majority leave vote in the upcoming EU referendum.

Caroline SpelmanMrs Caroline Spelman: The Church Commissioners and the Church of England Pensions Board manage their investment portfolios using high quality well diversified and long term strategies. The Church Commissioners and Pensions Board believe that they are well positioned for any market re-pricing or uncertainty that may prevail prior to or after the referendum.

(Via Parliament.UK)

Scotland’s Referendum 2014

In advance of Scotland’s referendum on independence on 18th September 2014, we publish below some links to statements and contributions to the debate by Christian commentators, academics and bloggers. It also includes references made by the Lords Spiritual in parliament. Continue reading “Scotland’s Referendum 2014”