On Tuesday 13th November a reception was held in Parliament with bishops and the First and Second Church Estates Commissioners, to celebrate the role of women in the church and public life, and to mark UK Parliament Week and the centenary of women getting the vote. The Bishops of London, Gloucester and Bristol, and the First Church Estates Commissioner Loretta Minghella, were asked questions by Second Estates Commissioner Dame Caroline Spelman MP and an audience of parliamentarians and clergy.
On the 12th of September The Rt Revd Rachel Treweek, Bishop of Gloucester, led a debate in the House of Lords on a motion ‘to ask Her Majesty’s Government what assessment they have made of the ability of women’s centres to improve outcomes in the justice system’. Her speech introducing the debate, and the response of the Minister, are reproduced below. The speeches by other Members contributing to the debate can be seen at Parliament.uk
The Lord Bishop of Gloucester: My Lords, it is a great honour and privilege to introduce this debate. I thank all noble Lords who have agreed to contribute to it; I am especially grateful to the noble Baroness, Lady Sater, for choosing to make her maiden speech in it. I know that her extensive experience in business and the charitable sector, as well as her time working on the Youth Justice Board and as a magistrate, will inform many excellent contributions to this House. I look forward to her speech. Continue reading “Bishop of Gloucester leads debate on positive impact of women’s centres in the justice system”
The following article by the Bishop of Gloucester appeared on The Times Red Box website on 12th September 2018:
On the 6th of September 2018 Lord Bird asked Her Majesty’s Government “what plans they have to ensure that prisons and young offender institutions are safe and able to meet the rehabilitative needs of those imprisoned.” The Rt Revd Rachel Treweek, Bishop of Gloucester, asked a follow up question focusing on community-based sentences and rehabilitation involving meaningful work.
The Lord Bishop of Gloucester: My Lords, I too thank the noble Lord, Lord Bird, for bringing this important debate today. It is encouraging to see some new energy in the Ministry of Justice, and some recent government announcements have been very encouraging, not least the female offender strategy. However, as has been said, it is important to acknowledge that so often prison will not be able to meet the rehabilitative needs of the people who are sent there. Continue reading “Bishop of Gloucester highlights need for meaningful path away from offending”
On 3rd July 2018 Baroness Burt of Solihull asked Her Majesty’s Government “how they will ensure that provision for women in the prison system is properly funded, following their decision to abandon plans for five community prisons for women in England and Wales.” The Bishop of Gloucester, Rt Revd Rachel Treweek, asked a follow-up question:
The Lord Bishop of Gloucester: My Lords, I am grateful that Her Majesty’s Government do not intend to open new women’s prisons, as has been said, and I am grateful for the assurance that more money will be put into women’s centres. However, what work will be done to ensure that those who sentence know what is actually available in the community? Continue reading “Bishop of Gloucester asks if enough attention is given to prison alternatives when women are sentenced”
On 11th June 2018 Baroness Fall asked Her Majesty’s Government “what percentage of women in prison have dependants under 16 years old; and what is the average length of stay in prison for such women.” The Bishop of Ely, Rt Revd Stephen Conway, asked a follow-up question:
The Lord Bishop of Ely: My Lords, the Ministry of Justice has produced clear evidence that women’s centres are effective at reducing reoffending, provide joined-up community services to support physical and mental health needs and give more opportunities to women to have access to their children. What assessment does the Minister make of the need for increased funding to sustain and open more women’s centres? Continue reading “Bishop of Ely asks Government about funding for more women’s centres”
On 22nd March 2018 Baroness Lister of Burtersett asked Her Majesty’s Government “what plans they have to support survivors of domestic abuse and to prevent future abuse.” The Bishop of Derby, Rt Revd Alastair Redfern, spoke in the debate:
The Lord Bishop of Derby: My Lords, I, too, thank the noble Baroness, Lady Lister, for introducing this important debate. It is crucial that we hold together support for victims and prevention. To get value for our investment we need to push back against the space that allows this crime to happen. I want to offer one or two thoughts about the framework within which resources need to be spent, and about the challenge to the Minister and to local authorities in the complexities that we are trying to deal with. The smaller the budget, the greater the odds against anything working. Continue reading “Bishop of Derby on need for focus on funding, relationship education and reformation as ways to tackle domestic abuse”