Bishop of Southwark raises concern at mental health care disparities based on ethnicity

On the 6th of September 2018 the House of Lords debated the motion ‘that this House takes note of NHS and healthcare data and how that data could be used to improve the health of the nation.’ The Bishop of Southwark, Rt Revd Christopher Chessun, spoke in the debate:

Southwark170718

The Lord Bishop of Southwark: My Lords, I too express appreciation to the noble Lord, Lord Freyberg, for securing a debate on a subject so full of possibilities for enriching our knowledge and improving the lives of fellow citizens. In England alone the National Health Service deals with more than 1 million patients every 36 hours. The potential use of data is enormous.

The right reverend Prelate the Bishop of Carlisle, who takes a special interest in health matters, is particularly sorry not to be able to participate in this debate. I also congratulate the noble Lord, Lord Bethell, on the quality of his maiden speech. I was, furthermore, particularly grateful for the wisdom of the noble Lord, Lord Kakkar, who spoke from his great expertise in this field. My focus is on mental healthcare data, which was recently highlighted in the Church of England’s toolkit on minority ethnic mental health issues, launched at our General Synod in July.

Continue reading “Bishop of Southwark raises concern at mental health care disparities based on ethnicity”

Bishop of Southwark welcomes demise of Wonga and praises work of credit unions

On 6th September 2018 Lord Haskel asked Her Majesty’s Government “what assessment they have made of demand for debt advice services; and what steps they are taking to reduce the level of household debt.” The Bishop of Southwark, Rt Revd Christopher Chessun, asked a follow-up question:

The Lord Bishop of Southwark: My Lords, with the demise of Wonga, which I hope the Minister will want to join me in welcoming, does he wish to take this opportunity to endorse the work of the many credit unions which are a channel for such sound advice? Continue reading “Bishop of Southwark welcomes demise of Wonga and praises work of credit unions”

Letter: Honour Britain’s tradition of saving child refugees

The following letter appeared in The Sunday Times on 2nd September 2018. Signatories included two Lords Spiritual, the Bishops of Durham and Southwark, and the former Archbishop of Canterbury, Lord Williams of Oystermouth:

Honour Britain’s tradition of saving child refugees

Jewish, Muslim and Christian leaders call on the government to offer sanctuary

September 2 2018

Three years ago today Alan Kurdi, a three-year-old Kurdish refugee, drowned because he had no safe route to sanctuary in Europe. The lives of more than 9,000 people fleeing war and persecution have been lost in the Mediterranean since that little boy’s death.

This autumn Britain will mark a more hopeful anniversary. Eighty years ago the Kindertransport was launched, a rescue operation that saved 10,000 Jewish and other refugee children from Nazi persecution.

Now it is our turn to honour that legacy by helping more child refugees to find safety here. On this anniversary we call on the government to match the efforts of the Kindertransport and establish a lasting route to protection in the UK for 10,000 child refugees in future years. Continue reading “Letter: Honour Britain’s tradition of saving child refugees”

Bishop of Southwark – challenges to parliamentary democracy posed by referendums

On 19th July Lord Higgins led a debate on the motion, “That this House takes note of the impact on parliamentary democracy in the United Kingdom of the use of referendums.” The Bishop of Southwark, Rt Revd Christopher Chessun, spoke in the debate:

The Lord Bishop of Southwark: My Lords, I, too, congratulate the noble Lord, Lord Higgins, on securing the debate, which, as others have observed, is timely. A man who secured a silver medal in the 440 yards relay in the Commonwealth Games in 1950 knows how to pace himself. I also congratulate the noble Lord, Lord Pickles, on his maiden speech with all its fascinating revelations. I look forward to the maiden speech of the noble Lord, Lord Anderson of Ipswich, shortly.

Of course, I acknowledge that the United Kingdom cherishes a parliamentary democracy. That key point, and all that flows from it, has been powerfully argued by the noble Lord, Lord Higgins. It is the genius of this country that over time we have made use of ancient yet enduring institutions and constantly evolving constitutional practices to serve a thoroughly modern society. The Church was present in the counsels that predated Parliament and the estates that first gathered here. It has witnessed both the supremacy of the other place and the extension of the franchise. We are being looked down upon in stone effigy by those who witnessed Magna Carta, including two archbishops. Continue reading “Bishop of Southwark – challenges to parliamentary democracy posed by referendums”

Bishop of Southwark says persecuted Christians in Middle East a humanitarian priority

On 19th July 2018 Baroness Berridge asked the Government “what plans, if any, they have to appoint an Ambassador on Freedom of Religion or Belief.” The Bishop of Southwark, Rt Revd Christopher Chessun, asked a follow-up question:

The Lord Bishop of Southwark: My Lords, I too extend my congratulations and those of the Lords spiritual to the noble Lord, Lord Ahmad, on this appointment. Does he agree that in several countries of the Middle East, where the Christian faith has existed since the time of the apostles—Iraq, Syria and Egypt among them—the scale of persecution renders the condition of the remaining Christian communities one of great humanitarian priority? Continue reading “Bishop of Southwark says persecuted Christians in Middle East a humanitarian priority”

Bishop of Southwark says children should be taught about vocation to serve

On 18th July 2018 Baroness Garden of Frognal asked Her Majesty’s Government “what plans they have to increase knowledge of work skills, careers and jobs amongst primary school children.” The Bishop of Southwark, Rt Revd Christopher Chessun, asked a follow-up question:

The Lord Bishop of Southwark: My Lords, given the importance of public service and volunteering in our nation, will the Minister give priority to communicating the vocation to serve as part of the formation of our young people? Continue reading “Bishop of Southwark says children should be taught about vocation to serve”

Bishop of Southwark describes commuter rail services in his diocese as unreliable, expensive and inadequate

On 17th July 2018 Lord Bradshaw asked Her Majesty’s Government “what progress has been made in the inquiry by the Office of Rail and Road, led by Stephen Glaister, into the implementation of the new railway timetables on 20 May”. The Bishop of Southwark, Rt Revd Christopher Chessun, asked a follow up question:

The Lord Bishop of Southwark: Noble Lords should be aware that my diocese extends across most of south London and east Surrey. Since the availability of employment and the affordability of housing are at an increasing distance from each other for a great and growing proportion of the population, people need a rail system of adequate capacity, affordable to their means, which is utterly reliable and efficient in its running. Does the Minister accept that the current arrangements do not deliver these criteria? Is there a proper sense of urgency about addressing this matter? Continue reading “Bishop of Southwark describes commuter rail services in his diocese as unreliable, expensive and inadequate”