Criminal Justice and Courts Bill – vote on indeterminate sentences

On 20th October 2014 the House of Lords debated the Government’s Criminal Justice and Courts Bill during its Report Stage. Peers debated an amendment from Crossbench Peer Lord Lloyd of Berwick to Clause 10, relating to treatment of prisoners serving indeterminate sentences. The Bishop of Rochester, Rt Rev James Langstaff, joined several Peers in expressing support for the amendment and he voted for its inclusion during the subsequent Division of the House. Continue reading “Criminal Justice and Courts Bill – vote on indeterminate sentences”

Lords Approves the Bishops and Priests (Consecration and Ordination of Women) Measure

Bishops and Priests (Consecration and Ordination of Women) Measure

14th October 2014

Motion to Direct

5.35 pm

Moved by

That this House do direct that, in accordance with the Church of England Assembly (Powers) Act 1919, the Bishops and Priests (Consecration and Ordination of Women) Measure be presented to Her Majesty for the Royal Assent.Archbishop of Canterbury

The Archbishop of Canterbury:

My Lords, it is now 95 years since Parliament conferred on the Church of England the power to initiate legislation, which, following parliamentary approval and Royal Assent, becomes part of the law of England.

Most of the Measures passed by the Church Assembly and, since 1970, by the General Synod have been necessary but modest revisions of the church’s rule book and the law of England. Texts such as the Church of England (Miscellaneous Provisions) Measure 2014 or the Ecclesiastical Fees (Amendment) Measure 2011 were not framed with excitement in mind, but even they sound positively racy compared with that early piece of Church Assembly legislation considered by this House in the days of Archbishop Davidson—the Ecclesiastical Dilapidations Measure 1923. Just occasionally, though, the church brings to Parliament legislation which is of more significance and effect. The Church of England (Worship and Doctrine) Measure 1974 was one such, and so was the legislation passed by Synod in 1992 to enable women to be ordained priests in the Church of England. Continue reading “Lords Approves the Bishops and Priests (Consecration and Ordination of Women) Measure”

Bishop of Rochester calls for greater security in tenancies for pensioners

On 14th October 2014, Lord McKenzie of Luton asked Her Majesty’s Government what steps they will take to improve housing stability for those renting in the private sector, particularly families. The Bishop of Rochester, the Rt Revd James Langstaff, asked a supplementary question:

Bishop of RochesterThe Lord Bishop of Rochester: My Lords, I am grateful to the Minister for his assurance that the Government are aware of the needs of families in relation to the length of tenure for tenancies. Is the Minister also cognisant of the needs of retired persons, where length and stability of tenancy are important not only for their well-being in old age but also for their contribution to the communities where they are living in a sustainable way?

Lord Ahmad of Wimbledon: The right reverend Prelate again raises an important point at the other end of the age spectrum, and the Government are very much cognisant of ensuring stability for residents and that their needs are met. One thing on which we are clear is our approach to the private rented sector, through landlords, through providing greater protection and a greater sense of professionalism for both landlords and agents. We are also helping provide an increased level of guidance to tackle any perceived rogue landlords and making more help available to tenants in this particular sector.


Bishop of Rochester supports amendment to Criminal Justice and Courts Bill

On 23rd July 2014 the Bishop of Rochester, the Rt Rev James Langstaff, spoke during the Committee Stage of the Criminal Justice and Courts Bill.

Bishop of RochesterBishop James spoke in support of Lord Ramsbotham’s amendment to remove clause 29 relating to the creation of ‘secure colleges and other places for detention of young offenders’  from the Bill. Continue reading “Bishop of Rochester supports amendment to Criminal Justice and Courts Bill”

Bishop of Rochester speaks in debate on reducing levels of custodial sentences for women

“It is undoubtedly the case that the female prison population disproportionately includes those who face huge challenges in their lives. It is also clear that prison is not the best place to address many of the issues that these people face” – Bishop of Rochester, 26.6.14

On 26th June 2014, the Bishop of Rochester and Bishop to HM Prisons, the Rt Revd James Langstaff, took part in Baroness Healy of Primrose Hill’s short debate on the measures being taken to reduce the number of women given custodial sentences. He focused his remarks on the role of community-based schemes to reduce rates of re-offending and called on the Government to look at how such projects can have a positive impact on the public purse, society and families affected by such sentences.

Bishop of RochesterThe Lord Bishop of Rochester: My Lords, I, too, am grateful to the noble Baroness, Lady Healy, for initiating this debate. Your Lordships will be pleased to know that a number of the points that I was going to make have already been made, so I will resist the temptation to make them all over again. Indeed, many of your Lordships will have had the briefings from various organisations that give the statistics, and so forth. Continue reading “Bishop of Rochester speaks in debate on reducing levels of custodial sentences for women”

Maiden speech of the Bishop of Rochester: Housing and the Queen’s Speech

“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

14.04.01 Rochester intro 2

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”

In pictures: Introduction of the Bishop of Rochester

14.04.01 Rochester intro 2On Tuesday 1st April, James Henry Langstaff, Lord Bishop of Rochester, was introduced and took the oath, supported by the Bishop of Leicester and the Bishop of Norwich, and signed an undertaking to abide by the Code of Conduct. Continue reading “In pictures: Introduction of the Bishop of Rochester”

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