Bishop of Rochester on the role of faith-based organisations in South Sudan

17.10 RochesterOn 4th July 2018 Lord Curry of Kirkharle led a debate in the House of Lords, “To ask Her Majesty’s Government what steps they are taking to address the current humanitarian crisis in South Sudan and to support the delivery of a lasting peace settlement and longer term economic and social development.” The Bishop of Rochester, Rt Revd James Langstaff, spoke in the debate:

The Lord Bishop of Rochester: My Lords, I too am grateful to the noble Lord, Lord Curry, for bringing forward this debate, I apologise to your Lordships for scurrying in slightly late at the beginning, having been taken short, as it were, by the rapidity of the previous business.

A year or more ago, I was passing through Nairobi airport, dressed not quite like this but recognisably as a bishop. A gentleman also clad in a purple shirt was approaching down a corridor. Both of us having time to spare before our flights, we fell into conversation. My new friend was a bishop from South Sudan and was on his way home after a meeting of Church leaders from across Africa—from places of conflict and from places that were recipients of refugees from those conflict areas. Our conversation was one that will stick in my mind for the rest of my life, I suspect, as he shared with me the reality of existence in his diocese. He and his colleagues had been discussing the Church’s role in peacemaking and reconciliation in those settings.

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Bishop of Salisbury asks Government about refugee and food crisis in South Sudan

On 19th July 2017 the Earl of Sandwich asked Her Majesty’s Government “what further action they are taking to address the ongoing refugee crisis and acute food emergency in East Africa.” The Bishop of Salisbury, Rt Revd Nick Holtham, asked a follow-up question:

The Lord Bishop of Salisbury: My Lords, I thank the Minister for his responses. In the case of South Sudan, where conflict is the main cause of the crisis but it is also being further exacerbated by low rainfall, what is the UK doing in relation to internally displaced people? Perhaps I may also ask him to comment on the very different example of Burundi. Is this also an opportunity for him to say a bit more about how UK overseas aid is not a charity but is in our enlightened self-interest? Continue reading “Bishop of Salisbury asks Government about refugee and food crisis in South Sudan”

Bishop of Truro warns against seeing aid as only a financial investment

Bishop of TruroOn the 3rd July 2017, the Bishop of Truro, the Rt Revd Tim Thornton contributed to Baroness D’Souza’s debate: That this House takes note of the case for measuring the impact of the United Kingdom’s development aid budget. In a wide-ranging speech, the Bishop spoke of the importance of guarding against thinking about aid spending simply as a financial investment.

The Lord Bishop of Truro: My Lords, I am grateful to the noble Baroness, Lady D’Souza, for initiating this debate on such a very important and topical issue.

As no doubt we will hear from other speakers, the UK is known around the world as a leader in international development. It has achieved great results during the past two decades. I have no doubt of the importance of the case for measuring the impact of our development aid. I want to underline that case and also, perhaps more importantly for me, to ensure that we try to measure the right things if we can and do not understand aid only as a financial investment which can be measured simply in financial terms. I fear that too many people in our debate will go immediately from talking about aid to talking about money and finances rather than going back and thinking about what the word “development” might mean. It seems that development is in itself a fascinating idea in our world today with perhaps an assumption that other countries are less developed than we are. We must be careful about the assumptions and presuppositions we make when we use the word.

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Church Commissioner Questions – wi-fi, art, South Sudan, House of Bishops’ Report, building repairs

spelman-190117bOn 2nd March 2017 the Second Church Estates Commissioner, Dame Caroline Spelman MP, answered oral and written questions in the House of Commons, covering wi-fi in churches, art exhibitions in churches, the Anglican Church in South Sudan, the House of Bishops’ Report on Human Sexuality, and church building repairs. A full transcript follows:

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Archbishop of Canterbury asks Government about efforts to restore peace in South Sudan

On 13th July 2016 Baroness Kinnock of Holyhead asked Her Majesty’s Government “what assessment they have made of the resurgence of violence in South Sudan.” The Archbishop of Canterbury, Most Revd & Rt Hon Justin Welby, asked a follow up question:

2ABCEUdebateThe Archbishop of Canterbury: My Lords, I have been in South Sudan twice in the past two years and in Kenya a week ago. Is the Minister encouraging the Government of Kenya to use the powers they have in their area, as most of the leaders of South Sudan have their families, farms and education of their children in Kenya, to encourage them to observe their ceasefire? What are Her Majesty’s Government doing to support the work of the peace and reconciliation commission led by the Anglican Archbishop of South Sudan and Sudan?

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Archbishop of Canterbury questions Government about preventing further destabilisation of South Sudan

Archbishop of CanterburyOn the 4th March 2015 Baroness Cox asked Her Majesty’s Government what is their assessment of recent developments in Sudan, with particular reference to the continuing aerial bombardment of civilians in Southern Kordofan and Blue Nile states. The Archbishop of Canterbury, the Most Revd and Rt Hon Justin Welby, asked a supplementary question:

The Archbishop of Canterbury: My Lords, during two visits to South Sudan last year, both in Juba and in the fighting area, it was evident that there was widespread belief and evidence that the Government of Sudan were not only interfering in South Kordofan, Blue Nile and Darfur with these terrible acts, but seek further to destabilise the already terrible situation in South Sudan. What steps do this Government believe should be taken and what steps are they taking with the international community to stop this cross-border interference?

Baroness Northover: The cross-border area is again a very difficult area to be working in. Our sense of things in terms of South Sudan is that we have huge challenges there in trying to get the parties to some kind of agreement. The Government of Sudan themselves are playing a non-obstructive role generally speaking. However, given all the instability on the border that the most reverend Primate talks about, it is exceptionally difficult.

(via Parliament.UK)

Bishop of Derby – South Sudan (Written Answer)

On 1st December 2014, the Bishop of Derby, the Rt Revd Alastair Redfern, received an answer to a written question on South Sudan.
DerbyThe Lord Bishop of Derby: To ask Her Majesty’s Government what discussions they have had with other donor countries about the case for innovative funding arrangements to meet long-term humanitarian needs in South Sudan. [HL2868]

The Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State, Department for International Development (Baroness Northover): The UK has led conversations with other donors on improving linkages between humanitarian and development programmes, and ways to increase self-sufficiency and resilience among populations who are in need of humanitarian assistance. With our partners we are looking to fast track and implement innovative ways to stimulate markets to address food insecurity and build livelihoods, link development programmes in health and education with humanitarian provision of these services, and improve co-ordination in-country between humanitarian and development planning and provision. Continue reading “Bishop of Derby – South Sudan (Written Answer)”