The Lords debate the Bishops’ pastoral letter Who is My Neighbour?

On Thursday last, 11 June, the Bishop of St Albans moved a motion in the Lords as follows:

“That this House takes note of the role played by civil society, in the light of the pastoral letter from the Church of England’s House of Bishops, Who is my neighbour?”

He expressed concern for the growth in voter apathy, the decline of volunteering and donations to charity and a general decrease in the nation’s wellbeing and levels of happiness. Those were some of the issues raised in Who Is My Neighbour? The House of Bishops had deliberately, and he believed successfully, avoided a party political stance; and it was not his intention to attack the Government or, indeed, any political party. But alongside voter disillusionment and apathy there was also widespread concern among politicians, social commentators and community leaders alike over the gradual weakening of civil society, which was matched by growing levels of loneliness and isolation, especially among the elderly. Continue reading