Between 17 and 21 July, Bishop Viv was the duty bishop at the House of Lords. This role for the Lords Spiritual involves saying prayers at the start of each day in the Lords before parliamentary business begins. It also means being on hand to respond and deal with any urgent business that might come up – such as ministerial statements or urgent questions. This is also a great opportunity for the bishop to speak out on issues they want to focus on and bring to the House's attention.
On Monday, Bishop Viv spoke in the House of Lords on her amendment to the Illegal Migration Bill. This aimed to put a limit on the amount of time that accompanied children in the UK’s asylum system could be detained.
The bill was passed without the amendment, but Bishop Viv's powerful message is still an important one.
On Tuesday, Bishop Viv asked a question on the effects of custodial sentences on dependent children of prisoners and the results of a pilot scheme taking this into account in magistrates courts.
Later that day, Bishop Viv asked a question on the ongoing conflict and violence in Sudan, and UK government support for Chad in caring for refugee communities fleeing the violence.
On Wednesday, Bishop Viv asked a question on the alignment of company commitments to net-zero targets, and whether the government would factor this in before authorising expansion of North Sea oil and gas exploration.
In the House of Commons on Thursday, Andrew Selous MP representing the Church Commissioners, was asked questions on Ordinands, the Community Sponsorship Scheme, the Anti-Homosexuality Act in Uganda, Ordination of Clergy, Freedom of Religion and Belief, and Family Relationships, Parenting & Marriage.