Bishop of St Albans asks about Russian drone attacks against Ukraine

The Bishop of St Albans asked a question on the government’s assessment of Russia’s use of drone attacks in Ukraine on 29th November 2022:

The Lord Bishop of St Albans: To ask His Majesty’s Government what assessment they have made of Russia’s use of drone attacks against Ukraine.

Baroness Goldie (Con): My Lords, Russia’s forces are resorting to striking Ukraine’s critical national infrastructure, especially the power grid. It should be noted that these facilities have no direct military role, but the impact is multiplying the misery of ordinary Ukrainian citizens. Notably, these strikes are partially being conducted by one-way-attack unmanned aerial vehicles—so-called kamikaze drones. These weapons are being provided by Iran, another sign of the strategic degradation of Russia’s military.

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Bishop of Leeds asks about corruption relating to sanctions on Russia

The Bishop of Leeds asked a question regarding the government’s response to money laundering relating to Russia, during a debate on Russian activities in Georgia on 16th November 2022:

The Lord Bishop of Leeds: My Lords, referring back to the original Question, have the Government made any assessment of how corrupt wealth is being laundered to get around sanctions in Russia by pushing the money through places such as Georgia?

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Bishop of Leeds asks about UK assistance for Ukraine

The Bishop of Leeds received the following written answers on 7th November 2022:

The Lord Bishop of Leeds asked His Majesty’s Government what assessment they have made (1) of Russia’s destruction of Ukraine’s power infrastructure, and (2) of the prospects of further large-scale refugee flows from Ukraine.

Lord Ahmad of Wimbledon (Con): The UK condemns Russia’s intentional bombing of Ukraine’s civilian energy infrastructure, which is causing widespread destruction.

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Bishop of Coventry asks about aid budget in relation to the conflict in Ukraine

The Bishop of Coventry asked a question regarding responses to the annexation of Ukrainian territories by Russia during a debate on the ongoing conflict in Ukraine on 12th October 2022:

The Lord Bishop of Coventry: My Lords, I look forward to the forthcoming public vote at the United Nations General Assembly condemning Russian annexation of the four Ukrainian territories and, I understand, calling for a negotiated settlement. That will pass easily but, despite these recent indiscriminate attacks, as the Secretary-General described them, it looks likely that there will be a large number of abstentions from the majority of the developing world. Can the Minister say why so many countries remain non-aligned and what steps are being taken to address their concerns? In that context, would she accept that, with so many developing countries feeling the impact of the war, the Government should not look to balance their own books by cutting the aid budget further?

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Bishop of Coventry asks about impact of potential Russian use of nuclear weapons in Ukraine

On 11th October 2022, The Bishop of Coventry asked a question concerning potential use of nuclear weapons by Russia in Ukraine and the impact this would have on the future spread of nuclear weapons:

The Lord Bishop of Coventry: My Lords, what is the Government’s assessment of the impact of the present threat and the potential use of tactical nuclear weapons on the wider non-proliferation regime? What measures are they taking to strengthen the long-term resilience of that regime, together with the Article 6 commitments of the NPT?

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Bishop of Coventry asks about Armenia, Azerbaijan, and the Transcaucasus region

The Bishop of Coventry received the following written answers on 10th October 2022:

The Lord Bishop of Coventry asked His Majesty’s Government what assessment they have made of the clashes along the border between Armenia and Azerbaijan which began on 12 September; and what representations they have made to the governments of those countries in relation to (1) the exercise of restraint, and (2) the observation of agreements which ended the 2020 Nagorno–Karabakh war.

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Bishop of Southwell and Nottingham makes maiden speech during debate on food crisis in Africa and Ukraine war

On 21st July 2022 the Bishop of Southwell and Nottingham, Rt Revd Paul Williams, delivered his maiden speech in the House of Lords during Lord Alton’s debate, “that this House takes note of (1) the impact of the Russian blockade of Ukrainian ports on food insecurity in developing countries, and (2) its contribution to the danger of famine in (a) the Horn of Africa, and (b) East Africa.”

The Lord Bishop of Southwell and Nottingham (Maiden Speech): My Lords, I begin by thanking fellow Members for their gracious welcome and expressing my gratitude to the parliamentary staff and officers who have so kindly supported my introduction to the House.

It is an honour to make this maiden speech in such an important debate, which focuses so clearly on the needs of the most vulnerable: those affected by the sudden steep rise in global food prices resulting from Russia’s terrible war and blockade in Ukraine. I pay tribute to the noble Lord, Lord Alton, both for bringing this debate to the House and for his long record of campaigning advocacy on behalf of those whose suffering is too often overlooked.

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Bishop of Leeds asks about security following Salisbury poisoning

The Bishop of Leeds asked the following question on 7th July 2022, during Lords exchanges on the Prime Minister’s meeting with Alexander Lebedev:

The Lord Bishop of Leeds: My Lords, if I am right, the visit to Alexander Lebedev came in the wake of the Skripal poisoning in Salisbury, which involved two Russian agents bringing, effectively, a chemical weapon through Heathrow, a commercial airport. Can the Minister give any assurance it could not happen again, and what assessment have the Government made of that episode and the dangers it caused for potentially thousands of people?

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Bishop of Manchester affirms support for action against Putin and role of church and faiths in aid effort

On 4th July 2022 the House of Lords heard the repeat of a statement made by the Prime Minister in the Commons, on the Commonwealth Heads of Government, G7 and NATO meetings.

The Lord Bishop of Manchester: My Lords, we on these Benches support Her Majesty’s Government in their response to President Putin’s invasion, as I am sure will our General Synod which is debating the matter this weekend. Aggression must not be rewarded. My right reverend friend the Bishop of St Albans has previously assured this House that the Church stands ready to use its reach and connections to pave the way to a solution, and we also stand ready to use our extensive links to humanitarian organisations.

May I therefore ask the Minister to expand on what is being done to ensure UK aid support reaches all those who need it, particularly through the informal volunteer groups, which have so far received only 0.24%—less than £1 in every £400—of direct donations, and to consider how faith organisations, including the Church, can pay their full part?

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Church Commissioner Questions: Christian Persecution, Church Schools, Religious Freedom, Net Zero, Ukraine, Russia, Institutional Racism

On June 23rd 2022 MPs put questions in the House of Commons to the Second Church Estates Commissioner, Andrew Selous MP:

Persecution of Christians Overseas

Jim Shannon (Strangford) (DUP)

  1. What steps the Church is taking to support the implementation of recommendations in the final report of the Bishop of Truro’s review on persecution of Christians overseas. (900659)

The Second Church Estates Commissioner (Andrew Selous): The murder of 50 Catholics in church this month in Ondo state in Nigeria and the ongoing murders for alleged blasphemy are a stark reminder of why the Church of England stands foursquare behind the implementation of the Bishop of Truro’s review.

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