The darkest valley: a reflection on this week in Parliament by the Bishop of Sheffield

The Bishop of Sheffield, Rt Revd Steven Croft posted the following article on the Sheffield Diocese website on 17th June 2016:

sheffield“Even though I walk through the darkest valley, I fear no evil; for you are with me”

These words from Psalm 23 have been in my mind this week following the atrocities in Orlando and the terrible murder of Jo Cox yesterday.

I’ve been in Parliament for my final week of duty there as the Bishop of Sheffield. It’s been a sombre week. The House of Lords kept a minute’s silence on Monday afternoon before prayers for the victims of the Orlando shootings. On Monday evening I walked through Soho on the way to meet my son. I was moved by the powerful display of solidarity by the LGBTI community there and across the world. Continue reading “The darkest valley: a reflection on this week in Parliament by the Bishop of Sheffield”

Bishop of Sheffield speaks on Church response to the migrant crisis

On Wednesday 15th June 2016 the House of Lords debated the Report from the European Union Committee The EU Action Plan against migrant smuggling (4th Report, Session 2015–16, HL Paper 46). The Bishop of Sheffield, Rt Revd Steven Croft, spoke in the debate:

14.03.27 Bishop of SheffieldThe Lord Bishop of Sheffield: My Lords, I welcome the two reports before us in all their complexity and I thank the members of the European Union Committee for their expertise, which is already evident in this debate. I particularly welcome the committee’s recommendation in paragraph 8 that the mandate of Operation Sophia is reviewed and renewed, along with the EU’s subsequent decisions. Clearly, this operation alone cannot be the complete answer to the challenges that we face. However, the European Union must not return to the position that it held before the Lampedusa tragedy of apparent indifference to those who seek to cross the Mediterranean in danger of their lives. Nor can we neglect the spread of people-smuggling on and across our borders. Continue reading “Bishop of Sheffield speaks on Church response to the migrant crisis”

Bishop of Sheffield asks about the Government’s counter extremism strategy

On the 5th November Lord Pearson of Rannoch asked Her Majesty’s Government “whether, as part of their counter-extremism strategy, they will encourage a national debate about the nature of Islam, including whether the Muslim tenet of abrogation remains valid today.” The Bishop of Sheffield, Rt Revd Steven Croft, asked if the Government planned for education and faith dialogue to form part of the strategy. Lord Ahmad responded for the Government highlighting the work of the Near Neighbours scheme.

14.03.27 Bishop of SheffieldThe Lord Bishop of Sheffield: My Lords, I strongly agree with the question raised by the previous speaker and the Minister’s reply. Does the Minister agree that encouraging education and dialogue across a broad front should be a key part of our strategy, including: encouraging relationships not only between the faith communities but between all the faith communities and civil society; encouraging agencies such as the Islamic Society of Britain—which does such powerful good work in education in schools and other areas; raising the levels of religious literacy at all levels; further analysis of why people of faith do, in a minority of cases, resort to violence; and building on the excellent work of the noble Lord, Lord Sacks, in his recent book Not in God’s Name? Continue reading “Bishop of Sheffield asks about the Government’s counter extremism strategy”

Bishop of Sheffield speaks about need to support the steel industry

On 3rd November 2015 the House of Lords debated a motion from the Earl of Selborne, “That this House takes note of the Report of the Science and Technology Committee on The Resilience of the Electricity System”. The Bishop of Sheffield, Rt Revd Steven Croft, spoke in the debate to welcome the report, and stress the importance of supporting the steel industry whilst adhering to our climate change obligations.


14.03.27 Bishop of SheffieldThe Lord Bishop of Sheffield: My Lords, along with many others, I warmly welcome this report and its principal recommendations. It seems to me to be clear and timely, and the issues it highlights for the United Kingdom in the medium term are very significant indeed. I particularly welcome, along with others, the recognition that the electricity market is now a managed market. I underline the statement in paragraph 37:

“Balancing security of supply, sustainability and affordability (the trilemma) is a first order issue for the Secretary of State”.

I will focus my remarks on two specific areas. The first is to highlight the importance of the needs of industry and manufacturing when looking at our future energy needs. Continue reading “Bishop of Sheffield speaks about need to support the steel industry”

Bishop of Sheffield praises vision of sustainable development goals and calls for more action on climate change

On 17th September 2015 Lord Chidgey moved “that this House takes note of the forthcoming summit on sustainable development goals in September and Her Majesty’s Government’s objectives at that summit.” The Bishop of Sheffield, Rt Revd Steven Croft, made a speech:

The Lord Bishop of Sheffield: My Lords, from these Benches I warmly welcome this debate and thank the noble Lord, Lord Chidgey, for bringing it forward. I welcome the sustainable development goals and the Government’s commitment to them.

14.03.27 Bishop of Sheffield

Like others, I was initially somewhat sceptical about a document that contains 17 goals and 169 targets. These are not even memorable or round numbers. However, I am inspired by the single vision for our world that drives and shapes these goals. That vision is set out in the ambitious declaration that forms a preface to the draft document to be considered and, we hope, agreed at the September summit. The language of the declaration is lofty—rightly so. It says:

“Never before have world leaders pledged common action and endeavour across such a broad and universal policy agenda”. Continue reading “Bishop of Sheffield praises vision of sustainable development goals and calls for more action on climate change”

Marriage and Cohabitation Rights – Bishop of Sheffield speaks on Bill

On 12th December 2014 the House of Lords debated the Cohabitation Rights Bill, a private member’s bill introduced by Lord Marks of Henley-on-Thames. The Bishop of Sheffield, Rt Rev Steven Croft spoke in the debate, celebrating the commitment made by couples entering marriage or civil partnership and advising caution over conferring similar rights to cohabiting couples in the way the Bill proposes. His speech is reproduced in full below.14.03.27 Bishop of Sheffield Continue reading “Marriage and Cohabitation Rights – Bishop of Sheffield speaks on Bill”

Bishop of Sheffield calls for creative communication of post-2015 development goals

“The threat of climate change, the desire for sustainable growth, digital communications and the movements of peoples have all contributed to this sense of one world and the desire for a good globalisation. It is a vision profoundly rooted in the Judaeo-Christian vision of the world: a family of diverse nations, cherishing peace, seeking justice, nurturing wisdom and looking for the flourishing of all.”

14.03.27 Bishop of SheffieldOn 11th December 2014, Labour Peer Lord McConnell of Glenscorrodale led a take-note debate in the House of Lords on the case for establishing new global development goals in 2015. The Bishop of Sheffield, the Rt Revd Steven Croft, took part in the debate. He paid tribute to the Government’s role in the continuing international dialogue and noted the significant achievements made through the Millennium Development Goals. He challenged all stakeholders in the post-2015 process to think creatively about how best to communicate these successes, in order to engage more people in the process. He noted that the Church, through the Anglican Communion is a key partner in international development. He commended the work of Christian Aid on the process and highlighted four key priorities identified by the agency – tackling climate change, a stand-along goal on gender justice, increased capacity to respond to natural disasters, and a focus on global inequality and a fairer global economic system.
Continue reading “Bishop of Sheffield calls for creative communication of post-2015 development goals”