On 30th July 2014, Lord Stevenson of Balmacara led a debate in the House of Lords on the motion ‘that the Grand Committee takes note of the Bilateral Agreement for the Promotion and Protection of Investments between the United Kingdom and Colombia’.
The Bishop of Sheffield, the Rt Revd Steven Croft, spoke during the debate, raising the issues of land ownership rights, protection of the human rights of indigenous Colombian people and the need for a monitoring system.
On 30th July 2014, Conservative Peer Lord Fowler asked Her Majesty’s Government “whether they are satisfied with the enactment and operation of the Marriage (Same Sex Couples) Act 2013.”
In his follow up question, Lord Fowler raised the situation of clergy who are married to someone of the same sex. A number of other Peers also asked questions relating to the situation in the Church of England.
On 29th July 2014, the Bishop of Sheffield, the Rt Revd Steven Croft, co-sponsored and spoke in support of an amendment to the Armed Forces (Service Complaints and Financial Assistance) Bill. The amendment, tabled by Lord Kennedy of Southwark, sought to establish a credit union specifically for members of the armed forces and their families. He noted the Church’s own work in setting up the Churches’ Mutual Credit Union, and highlighted the well-developed system of credit unions for service personnel in the United States. He called on the Minister to give an update on the progress made towards the creation of such an institution. Following the debate, Lord Kennedy withdrew his amendment, but indicated that he may bring it back at the Third Reading of the Bill.
The Lord Bishop of Sheffield: My Lords, from these Benches I welcome the amendment in the name of the noble Lord, Lord Kennedy, and give it our full support. The amendment gives strong support to the setting up of a credit union for the Armed Forces and their families in a similar way in which the church is setting up its own credit union—the Churches’ Mutual Credit Union. The Armed Forces, like the clergy and other groups, need a source of affordable credit for short and long-term needs. As a society we have duty of support and care to our Armed Forces. Recent research in a number of strands shows clearly that the ability to obtain credit at reasonable rates of interest is a vital element in building resilience to poverty and debt across our whole society. The inability to obtain such credit in times of need raises the possibility of falling further into debt, of food and fuel poverty and of a downward spiral. Continue reading “Bishop of Sheffield calls for development of Armed Forces credit union”
On 28th July 2014, two bishops took part in a division of the House of Lords on Crossbench Peer Baroness Boothroyd’s Motion to Regret on the role of the Leader of the House of Lords.
Baroness Boothroyd moved that this House welcomes the appointment of Baroness Stowell of Beeston as Leader of the House of Lords, but regrets the decision of the Prime Minister to diminish the standing of the House by failing to make her a full member of the Cabinet; and requests that the Prime Minister reconsiders this decision.
The Bishop of Chester, the Rt Revd Peter Forster (who also spoke during the debate) and the Bishop of Sheffield, the Rt Revd Steven Croft, voted ‘content’ with the motion. No bishop voted ‘not content’.
There were: Contents: 177 | Not Contents: 29 | Result: Government Defeat
“If we do nothing, we will see the gap between London and the regions continue to widen to the detriment of the whole country. I urge the Government and this House to address this problem with imagination, courage and vigour” – Bishop of Sheffield
On 27th March Peers debated the Chancellor’s 2014 Budget statement. The Bishop of Sheffield spoke of the need to rebalance the economy so that the proceeds of renewed economic growth could be shared across the regions. He suggested this could be the task of a cross-party parliamentary commission.
The Lord Bishop of Sheffield: My Lords, the prophet Jeremiah wrote a short but remarkable letter to his contemporaries long ago who had been sent into exile in Babylon. The letter has shaped Jewish and Christian thought on how communities of faith should engage with the wider society down all the generations since. The prophet’s advice is to,
“seek the welfare of the city where I have sent you … for in its welfare you will find your welfare”.
“The risks inherent in legalising assisted suicide still outweigh the benefits that might accrue” – Bishop of Chester
On 12th December 2013, the Bishop of Chester spoke in Lord Dubs’ debate on patient choice at the end of life, calling on the Government to resist changing the law to legalise assisted suicide. The Bishop of Sheffield also made his maiden speech in the debate, which can be read here.
The Lord Bishop of Chester: My Lords, I join other Members of the House in welcoming the reinforcements to the Bishops’ Benches. I will make three brief points in my contribution, the first of which does not have a direct connection with assisted suicide. We typically have long waiting lists today for transplantation surgery in this country, due to an absence of an adequate supply of donated organs. I hope that we will do as much as we can, and more, to encourage people to carry organ donation consent cards and to engender a culture in society in which transplantation and donation of organs are encouraged, especially for those whose death comes in an untimely and unchosen way. This is a matter of choice at the point of death, as are the things that we are discussing in the main part of this debate.
“The ministry of chaplains in our hospitals and hospices remains a vital part of end-of-life care. Chaplains are present to minister to those of all faiths and of none. They are drawn, of course, from every faith. They are present to offer spiritual support to the dying and to the bereaved, to patients and staff. They are a vital part of the team in end-of-life care as a specialist resource, as experts able to offer training to colleagues and as a point of referral in moments of crisis” – The Bishop of Sheffield
On 12th December 2013, the Bishop of Sheffield made his maiden speech in a debate on patient choice at the end of life. The Bishop of Chester also spoke in the debate, and his speech can be read here.
On 14th October 2013, Steven John Lindsey, Lord Bishop of Sheffield, was introduced and took the oath, supported by the Bishop of Leicester and the Bishop of Wakefield, and signed an undertaking to abide by the Code of Conduct.
The full video of the Bishop’s introduction can be viewed here.