Bishop of Southwark takes part in debate on Palestinian statehood

On 29th January 2015, Lord Steel of Aikwood moved that the House of Lords take note of the Resolution of the House of Commons of 13 October 2014 that “this House believes that the Government should recognise the state of Palestine alongside the state of Israel, as a contribution to securing a negotiated two-state solution”, and that this recommendation has also been adopted by the European Parliament, and the Parliaments of Sweden, France, Ireland, Portugal and Luxembourg. The Bishop of Southwark, the Rt Revd Christopher Chessun, spoke during the debate on the motion. He reflected on a recent visit to the region, as an Anglican participant in the annual visit of the Holy See’s co-ordination group of bishops in support of the church in the Holy Land. He raised questions about how best to protect the rights of minority groups in the region and the need for a strong commitment to religious freedom to ensure the participation of all parts of the population in diplomatic and reconciliation efforts.

Southwark 2The Lord Bishop of Southwark: My Lords, I was privileged earlier this month to spend a week in Gaza and the West Bank. I went as an Anglican participant in the annual visit of the Holy See’s co-ordination group of bishops in support of the church in the Holy Land. It was very challenging to see at first hand the current situation in Gaza and more widely in the West Bank.

Continue reading “Bishop of Southwark takes part in debate on Palestinian statehood”

Bishop of Southwark gives maiden speech in debate on the Local Government Finance Settlement

On the 22nd January 2015 the Bishop of Southwark gave his maiden speech to the House of Lords on the subject of the Local Government Finance Settlement. Bishop Christopher introduced himself his interests to the House in the usual manner before turning to address the debate. Speaking about the importance of local government Bishop Christopher addressed the impact cuts to funding have on people in greatest need, the importance of early intervention alongside the ease of losing sight of people in need during complex financial discussions instead of focusing on ensuring human flourishing. The Bishop was formerly welcomed to the House in the usual manner by Baroness Donaghy and the Mininster Lord Ahmad.

Southwark 2The Lord Bishop of Southwark (Maiden Speech): My Lords, I address your Lordships’ House on this first occasion with some trepidation. As I was advised not to drift into preaching mode, I will resist the temptation to expound on the interesting passage from scripture that the noble Lord has just quoted.

As a student of history, I am conscious of the dignity and importance of this House in the life of our nation, and I am acutely aware of the privilege of sharing in your Lordships’ deliberations. Throughout my life I have been inspired by the model of service found in the life of Jesus Christ, and I am humbled when I reflect on where that service has led me—not least, now, to your Lordships’ House. I will seek to serve to the best of my ability, using the gifts that God has given me. Continue reading “Bishop of Southwark gives maiden speech in debate on the Local Government Finance Settlement”