Bishop of Rochester on success of faith-based partnerships in development

On 12th July 2018 the House of Lords debated a motion from Baroness Stroud, “That this House takes note of the steps being taken by Her Majesty’s Government to engage with small charities and faith-based organisations in delivering United Kingdom aid overseas.” The Bishop of Rochester, Rt Revd James Langstaff, spoke in the debate:

The Lord Bishop of Rochester: My Lords, I had not intended to speak in this debate, because I did not think I would be able to be here, but I am prompted to do so in response to the mention of Tearfund by the ​noble Baroness. I am grateful to the noble Baroness for bringing forward this important debate on a significant part of our contribution to development in other parts of the world. Continue reading “Bishop of Rochester on success of faith-based partnerships in development”

Bishop of Rochester highlights social care challenges for prisons, and role of voluntary sector

On 5th July 2018 Baroness Brinton led a debate on the question to Her Majesty’s Government, “what steps they are taking to ensure that social care in England is adequately funded.” The Bishop of Rochester, Rt Revd James Langstaff, spoke in the debate:

The Lord Bishop of Rochester: My Lords, I too join in with the general rejoicing on this the 70th anniversary of the NHS, but as others have observed, I am glad that this debate has been brought forward by the noble Baroness because it is a necessary counterpoint to that. I join the noble Lord in expressing slight surprise ​at how few people have wanted to contribute to this debate, but that does give those of us who are speaking a little longer to do so.

As the recent National Audit Office report, referred to by the noble Baroness, into the interface between health and social care indicates, the two areas are inextricably linked. Indeed, the dividing line can be quite hard to define, and that is one of the difficulties. Continue reading “Bishop of Rochester highlights social care challenges for prisons, and role of voluntary sector”

Bishop of Rochester on the role of faith-based organisations in South Sudan

17.10 RochesterOn 4th July 2018 Lord Curry of Kirkharle led a debate in the House of Lords, “To ask Her Majesty’s Government what steps they are taking to address the current humanitarian crisis in South Sudan and to support the delivery of a lasting peace settlement and longer term economic and social development.” The Bishop of Rochester, Rt Revd James Langstaff, spoke in the debate:

The Lord Bishop of Rochester: My Lords, I too am grateful to the noble Lord, Lord Curry, for bringing forward this debate, I apologise to your Lordships for scurrying in slightly late at the beginning, having been taken short, as it were, by the rapidity of the previous business.

A year or more ago, I was passing through Nairobi airport, dressed not quite like this but recognisably as a bishop. A gentleman also clad in a purple shirt was approaching down a corridor. Both of us having time to spare before our flights, we fell into conversation. My new friend was a bishop from South Sudan and was on his way home after a meeting of Church leaders from across Africa—from places of conflict and from places that were recipients of refugees from those conflict areas. Our conversation was one that will stick in my mind for the rest of my life, I suspect, as he shared with me the reality of existence in his diocese. He and his colleagues had been discussing the Church’s role in peacemaking and reconciliation in those settings.

Continue reading “Bishop of Rochester on the role of faith-based organisations in South Sudan”

Bishop of Rochester takes five Church of England Measures through House of Lords

On 22nd March 2018 the Bishop of Rochester introduced five Church of England Measures for debate and approval in the House of Lords. The full text of the debate on each Measure is reproduced below and the House gave approval to each. The Measures were:  the Legislative Reform Measure, the Mission and Pastoral etc. (Amendment) Measure, the Pensions (Pre-consolidation) Measure, the Statute Law (Repeals) Measure and the Ecclesiastical Jurisdiction and Care of Churches Measure. Continue reading “Bishop of Rochester takes five Church of England Measures through House of Lords”

Bishop of Rochester on importance of Commonwealth in building partnerships

On 22nd March 2018 the House of Lords debated a motion from the Foreign Office Minister Lord Ahmad of Wimbledon, “That this House takes note of the Commonwealth Heads of Government Meeting 2018.” The Bishop of Rochester, Rt Revd James Langstaff, spoke in the debate:

The Lord Bishop of Rochester: My Lords, the Anglican Communion extends significantly beyond the nations of the Commonwealth. Nevertheless, for obvious reasons of history, there is a very substantial Anglican presence in many Commonwealth countries. I am therefore pleased to speak from these Benches in this debate—and I, too, look forward to the maiden speech of the noble Lord, Lord Geidt.

Within the Anglican Communion we have a rich network of companion links between dioceses in different parts of the world, whereby most Lords spiritual will have an active engagement with the life of at least one Commonwealth country. The nature of the Commonwealth as a network of autonomous free nations also has some parallel with the life of the communion, wherein each province is autonomous yet links together through what one might call family likeness, and the position of honour granted to the most reverend Primate the Archbishop of Canterbury. Continue reading “Bishop of Rochester on importance of Commonwealth in building partnerships”

Bishop of Rochester asks Government about support for released female offenders

RochesterOn 5th March, Baroness Burt of Solihull asked Her Majesty’s Government ‘what assessment they have made of the suitability of bids for replacement services for women prisons made following the closure of HM Prison Holloway.’ The Bishop of Rochester, the Rt Revd James Langstaff, asked a follow up question: Continue reading “Bishop of Rochester asks Government about support for released female offenders”

Bishop of Rochester asks Government about housing affordability and homelessness

On 17th & 18th October 2017 the Bishop of Rochester, Rt Revd James Langstaff, received answers to two written questions on housing affordability and homelessness:

The Lord Bishop of Rochester:

(i) To ask Her Majesty’s Government what proportion of the private rented sector is affordable to those on Housing Benefit or Universal Credit.

(ii) To ask Her Majesty’s Government what assessment they have made of the impact of the freeze on Local Housing Allowance on levels of homelessness in England. Continue reading “Bishop of Rochester asks Government about housing affordability and homelessness”