Bishop of St Albans asks Government about speed of Windrush Compensation Scheme

On 24th June, the Bishop of St Albans asked a question following a Government statement on the Windrush Compensation Scheme.

The Lord Bishop of St Albans: My Lords, we are all implicated in the conscious and unconscious bias which bedevils our society. It will change only if we all take responsibility to make that change come about. Due to the age of those who came on the “Windrush”, time is of the essence in gaining compensation. Some of them have already died. What specifically is being done to speed up the process? On the more general issue, what is the relationship between the various groups, such as this cross-government working group and the race equality commission, and is the Minister sure that these groups will complement each other and expedite matters rather than confuse them?

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Bishop of London highlights failings with Windrush Compensation Scheme

On 6th May 2020 the House of Lords debated a Government motion to take note of the Windrush Compensation Scheme. The Bishop of London, Rt Revd Sarah Mullally, spoke in the debate:

The Lord Bishop of London: My Lords, I thank the Minister for allowing this virtual debate. Almost two years ago, the Windrush scandal astounded this country. The hostile environment policy operated by the Home Office was shown to be discriminatory and damaging. It had neglected a critical principle that is foundational to my Christian faith: human dignity.

Process must support people. This needs to apply not only to our migration policy and departments, as clearly set out in the lessons learned review, but to the way we do what we have committed to do, such as the Windrush compensation scheme. From that standpoint, we need to evaluate how accessible the scheme is to those who are trying to rightfully claim underneath it, and that it is a process that honours their human dignity. Continue reading “Bishop of London highlights failings with Windrush Compensation Scheme”

Archbishop of Canterbury responds to Home Office Windrush Lessons Report

On 19th March 2020 the Home Secretary made a statement on the publication of the Windrush Lessons Learned Review. The statement was repeated in the House of Lords and the Archbishop of Canterbury, Most Revd Justin Welby, responded:

The Archbishop of Canterbury: My Lords, the publication of this Statement is very welcome indeed. The heartfelt nature of the apology was notable.​

I have a couple of questions about the recommendations to put to the noble Baroness. First, one of the historic failures of the Church of England—in many ways as bad as the hostile environment—was the terrible reception that we gave the Windrush generation, the vast majority of whom were Anglicans, when they came here. They were often turned away from Church of England churches, or were given a very weak welcome or no welcome at all. As a result, they went off and formed their own churches, which have flourished much better than ours. We would be so much stronger had we behaved correctly. I have apologised for that, and I continue to do so and see the wickedness of our actions. Continue reading “Archbishop of Canterbury responds to Home Office Windrush Lessons Report”

Bishop of Peterborough asks Government about religious literacy training for Home Office immigration caseworkers

PeterboroughFeb2017bOn 3rd April 2019 the Minister for Equalities, Baroness Williams of Trafford, repeated a statement made in the House of Commons by the Home Secretary, Sajid Javid, about the Windrush Compensation Scheme. The Bishop of Peterborough, Rt Revd Donald Allister, responded with a follow up question about religious literacy in determining asylum applications:

Lord Bishop of Peterborough: My Lords, while grateful for the Statement and the compensation scheme, I have a particular concern to raise with the Minister. We have recently seen publicity about very poor decisions on immigration made in the Home Office, suggesting that decisions are being made by staff who are perhaps too junior or not adequately trained. Can we be assured that there will be enough staff working on this scheme who are of sufficient seniority and adequately trained?

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Bishop of Southwark asks Government about historic immigration removals

On 21st June 2018 the Bishop of Southwark, Rt Revd Christopher Chessun, received a written answer to a question on historic immigration removals:

The Lord Bishop of Southwark:  To ask Her Majesty’s Government, further to the Written Statement by the Secretary of State for the Home Department on 24 May (HCWS722), how many non-documented Commonwealth citizens, other than those from Caribbean nations, have been removed from the UK while claiming to have been settled here (1) on 1 January 1973, and (2) between 1973 and 1988. Continue reading “Bishop of Southwark asks Government about historic immigration removals”

Bishop of Norwich raises problems for Windrush generation with accessing help, offers services of churches

On 26th April 2018 the House of Lords heard the repeat of a Government answer to an urgent question on immigration removal targets. The Bishop of Norwich Rt Revd Graham James, asked a follow up question:

The Lord Bishop of Norwich: My Lords, yesterday there was a meeting here in Westminster of parliamentarians and representatives of the Church of England and of the black majority churches about the ongoing problems of the Windrush generation, some of which have been made more acute by the controversy over removal targets. Continue reading “Bishop of Norwich raises problems for Windrush generation with accessing help, offers services of churches”

Bishop of Coventry on “depth of hurt” caused by treatment of Windrush generation

Coventry171123On 16th April the Earl of Courtown repeated a statement that had been made by the Home Secretary on the issue of the Windrush generation and their immigration status. The Bishop of Coventry, the Rt Revd Christopher Cocksworth, spoke in response:

The Bishop of Coventry: My Lords, I have written to the Prime Minister about this matter, as have a number of other Bishops. It has given us a great deal of concern and is a deeply distressing matter. Continue reading “Bishop of Coventry on “depth of hurt” caused by treatment of Windrush generation”