On 24th April 2017, Baroness Evans of Bowes Park led the House in paying tribute to the retiring Clerk of Parliaments, Sir David Beamish. The Bishop of Southwark, Rt Revd Christopher Chessun, spoke on behalf of the Lords Spiritual.
The Lord Bishop of Southwark: My Lords, I warmly associate myself with the words of tribute already spoken and add my own on behalf of the Lords Spiritual. Sir David Beamish has combined wise counsel, trusty support and firm friendship for all on these Benches, and my colleagues and I have greatly benefited from his guidance. In addition to the impressive list given by the Leader of the Opposition, he has also witnessed as Clerk the first two female Lords Spiritual. As your Lordships’ House knows, there is something of an ecclesiastical revolving door on these Benches. Those of us who arrive here when our time comes for service lean heavily on the clerks and other staff to this House to ensure that we get up to speed quickly with the just requirements of this Chamber. Without the reassurance and gentle steers of the clerk, many of us would have found ourselves floundering.
I should add that I am especially grateful to Sir David for his enthusiastic commitment outside this place to the life of the Church, especially in my own diocese. An active member of St Barnabas, Dulwich, he has also somehow managed to find the time to become both secretary to the Dulwich deanery synod and a very cheerful member of the Southwark diocesan synod. It is my great pleasure to continue to work alongside him in these capacities. I warmly welcome Edward Ollard, our new Clerk, and very much look forward to working with him and the new Clerk Assistant and Reading Clerk.