Week in Westminster, 23rd-26th March 2020

This week in Parliament the Bishop of Rochester and the Second Church Estates Commissioner, Andrew Selous, spoke during debates on the Government’s Coronavirus Bill. The Government accepted an amendment to the Bill to enable General Synod elections to be postponed.

The Bishop of Rochester also asked a question about Government discussions with charities on the coronavirus response.

Government ministers answered written questions on Falun Gong in China, visas for ministers of religion, and nutrition, from respectively the Bishops of Carlisle, Southwark and St Albans.

Andrew Selous MP, answered written questions from MPs on cashless giving to churches, and maintenance of graveyards.

Parliament rose for the Easter recess, to return on April 21st. Continue reading “Week in Westminster, 23rd-26th March 2020”

Week in Westminster, 16th-20th March 2020

This week in Parliament the Archbishop of Canterbury spoke in response to Government statements on the coronavirus pandemic, the Budget and the Windrush Lessons Learned Review. He also asked  about plans to build communities and affordable housing.

The Bishop of Rochester spoke in a debate on the Chancellor’s Budget statement, and the Bishop of Carlisle supported two amendments to the Government’s Divorce, Dissolution and Separation Bill.

The Bishop of St Albans asked a question on the humanitarian situation in Yemen and received written answers to questions on a review of the Gambling Act, and rural connectivity. The Bishop of Winchester received a written answer to a question about further education college mergers, and the Bishop of Salisbury received a written answer to a question on climate change and migration.

In the House of Commons the Second Church Estates Commissioner, Andrew Selous MP, answered questions  on church closures, coronavirus, persecution of Christians, and marriage support.

He also answered seven written questions from Jim Shannon MP, on carbon reduction, cashless donations, South Sudan, Uganda, lead theft and graveyard records, and a written question from Sir Desmond Swayne MP on marriages. Continue reading “Week in Westminster, 16th-20th March 2020”

Week in Westminster, 9th-13th March 2020

This week in Parliament the Bishop of Portsmouth called for a new national measurement of children’s wellbeing, backing a campaign by the Children’s Society. He also asked how the coronavirus outbreak might be managed on the prisons estate, and raised the problems faced by women and children when they leave the support of refuges.

The Bishop of Gloucester spoke in a debate on International Women’s Day, highlighting the issues of global education, violence against women and women’s treatment in the criminal justice system. She also asked Government how its Domestic Abuse Bill would meet the needs of children.

The Bishop of Bristol spoke in a debate on climate change, highlighting the commitment of the Church to net zero and the investment action being taken.

The Bishop of St Albans asked several questions about the findings of a new Gambling Commission report on participation and attitudes towards gambling. He also asked about gambling and bankruptcy, and gambling firms sponsoring football shirts.

The Bishop of Salisbury received written answers to questions on illegal waste exports.

The Second Church Estates Commissioner, Andrew Selous MP, answered a question on Gypsy and Traveller sites and plans of the church to combat racism.

Continue reading “Week in Westminster, 9th-13th March 2020”

Week in Westminster, 2nd-6th March 2020

This week in Parliament the Bishop of Salisbury spoke in support of amendments on marriage support, during debates on the Government’s Divorce, Dissolution and Separation Bill. He also spoke in support of the BBC in a Lords debate, and asked Government for an independent review into the handling by Wiltshire Police of historic allegations against Sir Edward Heath.

The Bishop of St Albans asked a question about recording gambling-related suicides, and also called for a levy on the gambling industry to help pay for the cost of treating those with addiction.

The Bishop of Winchester raised concerns about the use by universities of non disclosure agreements in cases where students have reported abuse or harassment.  The Bishop of Worcester raised concern about the devaluing of arts, culture and religion in the overall education system. 

The Bishop of Durham asked a question about how poverty is measured, and the Bishop of Carlisle asked about NHS podiatry services.

Continue reading “Week in Westminster, 2nd-6th March 2020”

Week in Westminster, 24th-28th February 2020

This week in Parliament the Bishop of Gloucester led a debate on early years interventions to help children and families, spoke during the passage of the Government’s Terrorist Offenders (Restriction of Early Release) Bill, and and also spoke in a debate on alternatives to prison custody for women who offend.

The Bishop of Worcester paid tribute to emergency service workers in response to recent flooding.

The Bishop of London asked a question about the affordability of housing. The Bishop of Durham asked a question about funding for refugee resettlement, and the Bishop of Peterborough asked Government about war widows’ pensions.

The Bishop of Southwark spoke in  debate on Israel & Palestine, and the latest US initiated peace plan.

The Bishop of Leeds responded to a Government statement on rough sleeping.

The Bishop of St Albans spoke in a debate about inequalities faced by Gypsy, Roma and Traveller communities, and received an answer to a written question about the impact of advertising to children.

The Second Church Estates Commissioner Andrew Selous took the Church of England (Miscellaneous Provisions) Measure through the House of Commons, and answered a written question on bats in churches. Continue reading “Week in Westminster, 24th-28th February 2020”

Week in Westminster, 10th-14th February 2020

This week in Parliament the Bishop of St Albans asked a question to Government on plans to tackle antisemitism, and spoke in a debate on the importance of planting native tree species. He also asked questions about disability employment and technology, and the need for better education and media representation to counter Islamophobia. He received written answers to questions on the gambling industry and sport.

The Bishop of Worcester spoke in support of the Adoption Support Fund and the needs of adopted children and their families.

The Bishop of Winchester asked Government about pauper funerals and bereavement support, and received an answer to a written question on college financial monitoring.

The Bishop of Oxford spoke in a debate on the full implications of decision-making and prediction by algorithm in the public sector.

The Bishop of Durham received a written answer on Government plans to reduce child poverty and to questions about the welfare of older people and children in Rwanda. He asked a question about the construction of HS2.

The Bishop of Southwark received written answers to five questions, on Israel & Palestine, peace, East Jerusalem and the West Bank.

The Bishop of Leeds asked Government for a strategy to resurrect derelict Victorian mill buildings.

The Second Church Estates Commissioner Andrew Selous answered questions from Jim Shannon MP on carbon emissions, religious freedom, strategic development funding, church planting, green investments, the Democratic Republic of Congo and South Sudan, the Primates’ Meeting, new technologies, marriage and family life. Continue reading “Week in Westminster, 10th-14th February 2020”

Week in Westminster, 3rd-7th February 2020

This week in Parliament the Bishop of Blackburn was introduced to the House of Lords, and the Second Church Estates Commissioner Andrew Selous answered questions from MPs on LGBT+ equality, civil partnerships, church buildings, church schools and universities, HS2, Christians in Nigeria, and youth workers. Andrew also spoke about persecuted Christians overseas in a House of Commons debate.

The Bishop of Southwark praised the community response to the terror attack in Streatham, and also asked Government about the aim and intent of newly proposed counter-terrorism laws. He also asked questions about freedom of religion and belief policy in international development, and access to cash machines in the poorest areas.

The Bishop of Oxford spoke in a debate on climate change, the Bishop of Carlisle highlighted the need for more investment in adult social care, and the Bishops of Carlisle and Portsmouth spoke in the Second Reading debate of the Government’s Divorce Bill, expressing concerns about the provisions.

The Bishop of St Albans asked a question about food security and scarcity in areas of East Africa affected by locusts, and also on fly-tipping. The Bishop of Durham asked a question about universal credit, and the Bishop of Leeds received answers to written questions to Government about security of Christians and freedom of religion and belief.

Continue reading “Week in Westminster, 3rd-7th February 2020”

Week in Westminster 20th-24th January 2020

This week in the House of Lords the Bishop of Durham co-sponsored an amendment from Lord Dubs to the EU (Withdrawal Agreement) Bill on family reunion for refugee children. He and two other bishops voted for the amendment, which passed but was subsequently overturned by MPs in the House of Commons. The Bishop of Birmingham also voted for a successful amendment on documentation for EU citizens with settled status, though this was also overturned by MPs.

The Bishop of Chelmsford commented on reports the Government were considering relocation of the House of Lords to York. The Bishop of St Albans received an answer from the Government to a question on fly-tipping, and the Bishop of Salisbury received answers to questions on plastic waste recycling and the trade in plastic waste. Continue reading “Week in Westminster 20th-24th January 2020”

Week in Westminster, 4th-8th November 2019

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This week in the House of Lords the Archbishop of Canterbury asked the Government about pressure on universities over antisemitism on campus. The Bishop of St Albans received answers from the Government regarding the welfare of Rohingya and Chin people in Myanmar and Bangladesh. The Bishop of Peterborough cited good examples of sustainable development and also paid tribute to one of the longest serving members of House of Lords staff. The Bishop of Durham asked about asylum and migration funding guarantees. The Second Church Estates Commissioner, Dame Caroline Spelman, answered a written question about theft from churches. 

Continue reading “Week in Westminster, 4th-8th November 2019”

Week in Westminster,19th-25th October 2019

WestminsterThis week in the House of Lords was an unusual one as it included the first Saturday sitting in 37 years. During the Saturday sitting the Bishop of Leeds responded to the statement from the Prime Minister about the new Brexit Deal. Other bishops spoke this week about the churches role in Health and Social Care in, about freedom of movement of EU and UK citizens and the current political situation in Hong Kong. Bishops also asked questions about the taxation of air-fuel, the ending of cash withdrawal by Barclays from the Post Office and received written answers to questions about the Indian Constitution and Kashmir and the Government’s plans for English language education.

Continue reading “Week in Westminster,19th-25th October 2019”