Bishop of Newcastle pays tribute to late Lord Waddington

Newcastle 3On Monday 27th February 2017, the Bishop of Newcastle, the Rt Revd Christine Hardman, paid tribute on behalf of the BIshops’ Benches to Lord Waddington, the former Leader of the House, who had died the previous week.

The Lord Bishop of Newcastle: My Lords, I would like to be associated with the comments already made about the late Lord Waddington, and to add a few words of tribute on behalf of these Benches. Although I came to the House shortly after Lord Waddington retired, I know that his Christian faith was a source of great comfort and inspiration to him. The “Waddington amendment” that bears his name was prompted by his concern that those who sincerely hold traditional Bible-based views on relationships should be able to speak freely under the law.

Hansard records that in 1998 Lord Waddington asked Ministers,

“that those responsible for the Church’s forms of worship should not lightly tinker with the language of prayers which millions have learnt in childhood and from which they still find comfort at times of distress and grief”.—[Official Report,12/3/98; col.302.]

I like to think that this morning’s choice of Psalm 46 for Prayers would therefore have been appreciated, not least as a line from this psalm,

“God is our refuge and courage”,

features in the late Lord Waddington’s own coat of arms.

Future worshippers at St John the Evangelist, Read-in-Whalley, will benefit from a new stained glass window kindly donated by Lord Waddington, which will be a long-standing and fitting memorial to his care and concern for that community, and to his devotion to public service.

I offer my condolences to his wife, children, family and friends. May he rest in peace.