Archbishop asks government about income inequality

york-170117-bOn 31st January 2018, Baroness Lister asked Her Majesty’s Government ‘whether they have a policy goal to reduce income inequality; and if so, what is their strategy for achieving that goal.’ The Archbishop of York, Most Revd John Sentamu, asked a follow-up question: 

The Archbishop of York:  My Lords, does the noble Lord agree with Wilkinson and Pickett in The Spirit Level that equal societies, in terms of income, are much happier societies and that income inequality leads people not to be happy? Does he further agree that being in work does not mean that you have income equality? We have a lot of hard-pressed families on poverty wages, hence the food banks. What are the Government going to do to create this income equality, where we can all become happier people? Continue reading “Archbishop asks government about income inequality”

Church Commissioners’ Written answer: Religious freedom

On 29th November 2017 the Second Church Estates Commissioner, Rt Hon Dame Caroline Spelman MP, answered a written question from Jim Shannon MP about religious freedom.

Jim Shannon(Strangford): To ask the Honourable Member for Meridan, representing the Church Commissioners, what steps the Church of England is taking to support Christians in the UK who face difficulties in following their faith in the (a) workplace and the (b) public forum. Continue reading “Church Commissioners’ Written answer: Religious freedom”

Vote: Queen’s Speech Motion on Brexit and single market

On 28th June 2017 the House of Lords voted on a motion to add an amendment to the Queen’s Speech, following a debate on exiting the European Union. The Archbishop of York took part.

Continue reading “Vote: Queen’s Speech Motion on Brexit and single market”

Queen’s Speech 2017: Archbishop of York calls for a Brexit that serves the common good

Archbishop of YorkOn 28th June, the Archbishop of York, the Most Revd and Rt Hon John Sentamu contributed to the ongoing debate on the Queen’s Speech. The Archbishop’s speech addressed Brexit and he called for cross-party work to secure a Brexit that serves the common good.

The Archbishop of York My Lords, I have followed with interest the debates on the Queen’s Speech over the past week. I have been encouraged to hear assurances from the Leader of your Lordships’ House and various Ministers of the Government who seek to govern with humility and to forge cross-party agreement where they can. That is as it should be, regardless of the numerical strength or weakness of the Government.

Many issues raised in the Queen’s Speech and the Government’s agenda give us the best opportunity to have that wider consensus. No area is more important than that when it comes to negotiating Britain’s departure from the European Union and to forging a new relationship—a deep and special partnership—with the EU. Indeed, the reality is that there is no way in which a minority Government can hope to get all their legislation relating to Britain leaving the EU through Parliament without the help of others. The Government need to make a virtue out of that necessity.

Continue reading “Queen’s Speech 2017: Archbishop of York calls for a Brexit that serves the common good”

General Election 2017: Archbishops issue election letter

On Saturday 6th May 2017 the Archbishops of Canterbury and York published a pastoral letter to the parishes and chaplaincies of the Church of England, about the General Election of 8th June.

The Archbishops urged people to set aside “apathy and cynicism” and to draw new inspiration from the ancient Christian virtues of “love, trust and hope”.

The three-page letter, intended to be shared in churches from 7th May onwards, encouraged voters to remember Britain’s Christian history and heritage as well as a concern for future generations and God’s creation as they make their decisions.

Following divisions of recent years, it called for reconciliation drawing on shared British values based on cohesion, courage and stability.

It upheld marriage, family and households as the building blocks of society which should be “nurtured and supported” as a “blessing”.

At a time when political differences may be felt more intensely than ever, the Archbishops insisted that Christians’ “first obligation” during the election and beyond is to pray for those standing for office and recognise the personal costs and burdens carried by those in political life and by their families.

But Christians also have a duty to play an active part in the process, they added. Continue reading “General Election 2017: Archbishops issue election letter”

Archbishop of York asks Government about hospital patient transport waiting times

york-170117-cOn 4th April 2017, Lord Harries of Pentregarth asked Her Majesty’s Government ‘what steps they are taking to reduce waiting times for patients using hospital patient transport.’ The Archbishop of York, the Most Rev. John Sentamu, asked a follow up question.

The Archbishop of York: My Lords, the Minister speaks with such clear diction that we can hear every word he says. He is not producing a drama, but although I have been listening to him carefully, I do not think that he has answered the Question put to him by the noble and right reverend Lord, Lord Harries. He asked what steps were being taken,

“to reduce waiting times for patients using hospital patient transport”.

I did not hear the answer. All I heard was that the Minister was willing to have a word with him, but it is not just about the noble and right reverend Lord and his wife. A lot of other people are in the same predicament. We want to know what those steps are. That is the nature of the Question and, if I did not hear the response, I apologise. Continue reading “Archbishop of York asks Government about hospital patient transport waiting times”

EU (Notification of Withdrawal) Bill: Archbishop of York speaks to amendment on Parliamentary Scrutiny

On Monday 13th March, the House of Lords debated an amendment to the EU (Notification of Withdrawal) Bill, during ping pong. This amendment would have insisted on retaining the Lords’ original amendment to protect the status of EU nationals in the UK.  The Archbishop of York spoke against the amendment, which was later defeated during […]

On Monday 13th March, the House of Lords considered the EU (Notification of Withdrawal) Bill, which had been returned to it by the House of Commons during a parliamentary process known as ‘ping pong’. MPs had rejected an amendment passed by the Lords  to ensure Parliamentary scrutiny of any final EU negotiated deal.  The Liberal Democrats tabled a further amendment to disagree with the Commons in its decision. The Archbishop of York, the Rt Hon and Most Rev Dr John Sentamu, spoke in favour of agreeing with the Commons (so opposing the amendment, which was later defeated during a vote).


The Archbishop of York: I shall not detain noble Lords long, but in response to the noble Lord, Lord Pannick, who always speaks with such clarity and grace, I must say that the problem with the amendment is with subsection (4). If the Prime Minister does not get an agreement, whatever she does she has to have the rule of Parliament. She will bring it to Parliament, but the problem is this, if I understand it right—that triggering Article 50 is an irreversible act. Continue reading “EU (Notification of Withdrawal) Bill: Archbishop of York speaks to amendment on Parliamentary Scrutiny”