17 December 2002
During the Committee Stage of the Licensing Bill in the House of Lords on Thursday 12 December, the Government acknowledged the need to consider exempting altogether 'bona fide places of worship' from the provisions of the Licensing Bill. The Bill as drafted seeks to impose on churches, other places of worship and schools, a requirement to obtain licences for events (such as concerts and dramas) other than acts of worship.
The Bishop of London, who proposed an amendment which the Government is considering, later said:
"In recent weeks countless examples have come to light of just how close the relationship between church and community often is. Along with leaders of other faith communities, I welcome the Government's acknowledgement of this and look forward to workable revisions to the Licensing Bill. I am waiting to see the terms of any Government amendments before I hang out the bunting."