Bishop of Birmingham makes his valedictory speech

The Bishop of Birmingham made his valedictory speech to the House of Lords on 10th October 2022, during a debate on the Economy Growth Plan 2022 (Motion to Take Note):

The Lord Bishop of Birmingham: My Lords, I have been immensely grateful for the stimulation and companionship I have found in your Lordships’ House as a Member for the last 12 years, not least in the last three or four speeches this afternoon on this immensely complex subject. It is worth turning up, if only to feel the embarrassment of my colleagues when one of their number is called “mature” and “sensible”—where better to hear it than here, in public and on the record? —and to be with the Minister, the noble Baroness, Lady Neville-Rolfe, with whom I share a long business background, although not necessarily in the same sector. I am particularly grateful to have been Convenor of this Bench for some years and to have been able to relate to the usual channels in the House informally. I am very grateful to those here who have accepted my presence at certain moments, whether they were to do with Brexit, the pandemic and the hybrid House, or even the late Queen’s funeral.

This is an opportunity just to say thank you to the officers of the House for the remarkable support that we received from them—in recent weeks, as it happened, day and night. I wish my successor as convenor of these Benches, my right reverend friend the Lord Bishop of St Albans, every success and the same wonderful co-operation and fulfilment.

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Bishop of Ely supports Healthy Homes Bill

On 15th July 2022, the house debated the Healthy Homes Bill at its second reading. The Bishop of Ely spoke in the debate on this Private Member’s Bill. His speech is below, along with contributions from other peers:

The Lord Bishop of Ely: My Lords, it is a pleasure to speak in the Second Reading of this very important Bill. The lead Bishop on housing, the right reverend Prelate the Bishop of Chelmsford, is sadly unable to be with us. However, she has asked me also to pass on her gratitude to the noble Lord, Lord Crisp, for his work in bringing the Healthy Homes Bill forward.

In his book Reimagining Britain, the most reverend Primate the Archbishop of Canterbury wrote that we need to reimagine housing. He said:

“Reimagined core values and practices in any housing development will be linked to health in many forms. Good communities build financial, physical, mental, spiritual and relational health.”

As the noble Lord, Lord Crisp, said, this is about linking not just housing and health but education. In my time as Bishop of Ely, when we have built church schools on crowded new housing estates I have always insisted on having space in front of the schools so that, rather than doubling the cramp that people feel, we have pram plazas rather than pram wars.

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