Archbishop of Canterbury encourages Government to invest in peaceful resolution to conflict

On 11th June 2019 Lord Robathan asked the Government “whether the Foreign Secretary’s speech at the Lord Mayor’s Banquet on 13 May represented a change in their policy on defence expenditure.” The Most Revd and Rt Hon Justin Welby, Archbishop of Canterbury, asked a follow-up question:

Canterbury051218bThe Lord Archbishop of Canterbury: My Lords, as I am sure the noble Earl remembers, the Foreign Secretary, in his Guildhall speech, not only called for new capabilities and higher spending, but went on to set the point of these new capabilities when he said that,

“strength is the surest guarantee of peace”.

Furthermore, last week, in the D-day proclamation, 16 countries, including the United Kingdom, committed to,

“work together to resolve international tensions peacefully”.

Given those two aims, of strong defence as a sure base for peace and the proclamation, does the noble Earl agree that the formation of the joint reconciliation unit within the Stabilisation Unit in the Foreign Office is a major step forward, in that averting war through orchestrated means—including both hard and soft power—is much cheaper than fighting it?

Continue reading “Archbishop of Canterbury encourages Government to invest in peaceful resolution to conflict”

Bishops ask Government about conflict in Yemen and use of British weaponry

On 10th April 2019 the Bishops of Coventry and St Albans received written answers to questions on the war in Yemen: efforts to bring the conflict to an end, and the use of weapons made or sold by British companies –

The Lord Bishop of Coventry: (HL14938) To ask Her Majesty’s Government what steps they are taking to facilitate an end to the war in Yemen.

Continue reading “Bishops ask Government about conflict in Yemen and use of British weaponry”

Bishop of St Albans asks Government about aid to help relieve horrific humanitarian disaster in Yemen

On the 20th December 2018 the Bishop of St Albans, the Rt Revd Dr Alan Smith asked a question he had tabled to Government about Yemen and the shortfall in aid needed to resolve the humanitarian crisis.
The Lord Bishop of St Albans: To ask Her Majesty’s Government what steps they are taking to provide humanitarian relief to Yemen following the agreement of the ceasefire in Hodeidah.

Bishop of St Albans asks Government about use of British-built military hardware by Saudia Arabia and UAE

On 6th November 2018 the Earl of Sandwich asked the Government “what steps they are taking to help end the famine caused by the war in Yemen.” The Bishop of St Albans, Rt Revd Alan Smith, asked a follow-up question:

The Lord Bishop of St Albans: My Lords, what representations have Her Majesty’s Government made to the KSA and UAE about the use of British-built military hardware, which some people are really concerned could be used for, as is being alleged, war crimes? Continue reading “Bishop of St Albans asks Government about use of British-built military hardware by Saudia Arabia and UAE”

Bishops of St Albans and Leeds question the Government about humanitarian situation in Syria

stalbans190117-bOn the 22nd February 2018 the Bishop of St Albans, the Rt Revd Dr Alan smith asked an urgent (Private Notice) Question in the House of Lords about the humanitarian situation in Eastern Ghouta in Syria. The Bishop of Leeds, the Rt Revd Nick Baines, also asked a question during the follow-up. Both the Bishops’ contributions can be found below.

 Syria: Eastern Ghouta – Private Notice Question

The Lord Bishop of St Albans: To ask Her Majesty’s Government what steps they are taking to respond to the crisis in Eastern Ghouta in Syria. Continue reading “Bishops of St Albans and Leeds question the Government about humanitarian situation in Syria”

Bishop of Peterborough asks about long term support to rebuild Syria

PeterboroughFeb2017aOn 5th April 2017, Baroness Northover asked Her Majesty’s Government “how they are intending to respond to the chemical attack seemingly carried out by the Syrian Government on civilians in the town of Khan Sheikhoun.” The Bishop of Peterborough, the Rt Revd Donald Allister, asked a follow up question about future international efforts to rebuild Syria after peace is secured in the area.

The Lord Bishop of Peterborough My Lords, as the most reverend Primate the Archbishop of Canterbury said yesterday, we on these Benches mourn with the people of Idlib and we pray for justice and an end to violence. However, if and when peace is finally secured in the region, the scale of suffering and damage experienced by the people of Syria over the past six years will demand enormous and costly international effort if Syria is to be rebuilt. Will Her Majesty’s Government commit not just to supporting the people of Syria in the short term but to supporting the decades-long process of restoration that will inevitably be needed once the present crisis is over? Continue reading “Bishop of Peterborough asks about long term support to rebuild Syria”

Bishop of London responds to the Chilcot Report on the invasion of Iraq

“There is no doubt that someone who dwells on history can be somewhat tedious, but at the same time someone with a sense of destiny and no sense of history can be very dangerous.”- Bishop of London, 12/7/16

On 12th July 2016 the House of Lords debated a Government motion “That this House takes note of the Report of the Iraq Inquiry”. The Bishop of London, Rt Rev and Rt Hon Richard Chartres, spoke in the debate:

Bp London 131015The Lord Bishop of London: My Lords, it is humbling to follow such a powerful and authoritative voice. I am also grateful to the Minister for the constructive way he introduced this debate and invited us to think about the lessons we can apply now. Sir John Chilcot recommends more thorough analysis before military action and a more collaborative approach to policy-making. I imagine that every one of your Lordships would probably agree that the case is well made, but politicians caught up in oppressive events, a rapidly changing situation and a 24/7 news environment, and with an ally who is losing patience, do not have much time for pondering decisions. Therefore—this echoes many of the remarks of the previous noble Lord—the culture and assumptions that leaders bring to the crisis are hugely significant. Continue reading “Bishop of London responds to the Chilcot Report on the invasion of Iraq”