On Easter Day, 20th April 2014, the Church of England Dioceses of Bradford, Ripon & Leeds and Wakefield, will be merged to form a new Diocese of West Yorkshire and the Dales. Here – in three parts – is a (very) brief history of the bishops of those dioceses as parliamentarians. Part One (Ripon) can be viewed here.
Part Two: The Bishops of Wakefield
All but one of the 12 who held office as Bishop of Wakefield during the 126 year history of the diocese served in the House of Lords.
On Easter Day, 20th April 2014, the Church of England Dioceses of Bradford, Ripon & Leeds and Wakefield, will be merged to form a new Diocese of West Yorkshire and the Dales. Although the bishop of that new diocese will in due course join other bishops in the House of Lords, the dissolution of the three former dioceses marks an end to the era of the Bishops of Bradford, Ripon & Leeds and Wakefield as Lords Spiritual. Much has been written and recorded about the wider contributions of successive occupants of these Sees, but here – in three parts – is a (very) brief history of those bishops as parliamentarians.
Part One: The Bishops of Ripon
Since its formation in 1836 there have been 12 bishops of the diocese of Ripon (and latterly, Ripon & Leeds).
Longley and Bickersteth
Its first bishop was Rt Rev Charles Longley, who served until his translation to Durham in 1856, before becoming Archbishop of Canterbury in 1862.
Longley had married the daughter of the Postmaster General in Prime Minister Lord Melbourne’s Government. However, as the Oxford Dictionary of National Biography records, “Melbourne agreed that Longley need not be constrained to vote with the government on matters of Irish church policy. Longley actually voted against the government on other issues besides the Irish church, to Melbourne’s pain and displeasure… Longley opposed the Oxford University Bill of 1854 which, among other things, reduced the proportion of clerical fellows in each college and reconstituted the central government of the university. In 1854 Longley was named as one of two churchmen who would join the executive commissioners empowered to revise the statutes of the university and colleges of Oxford.”Continue reading “Lords Spiritual No Longer, Part One: The Bishops of Ripon”
11th April 2014: The Diocese of Oxford has announced that Rt Rev John Pritchard will retire as Bishop of Oxford on 31st October this year. Bishop John, who chairs the Church of England’s Board of Education and leads for the Bishops in the House of Lords on education & church schools, will also cease to be a member of the Lords on that date. Continue reading “Bishop of Oxford announces retirement”
The Archbishop of Canterbury Justin Welby has welcomed the publication today of the report and draft Bill by the Parliamentary Joint Select Committee on Modern Slavery.
The Rt Revd Alastair Redfern, Bishop of Derby, was a member of the Joint Select Committee, and the report can be read in full here. In March 2014, the Archbishop also gave his backing to the Global Freedom Network, an ecumenical initiative to combat modern slavery and human trafficking. You can read more about the Global Freedom Network here.
Archbishop Justin said: “I strongly welcome the report and draft Bill published today by the Parliamentary Joint Select Committee on Modern Slavery, which has cross-party support. We owe a debt of gratitude to the Committee’s members for their efforts, and I would like to extend particular thanks to my colleague Alastair Redfern, the Bishop of Derby, for his participation in the Committee’s work.
On Friday 4th April 2014 the Archbishop of Canterbury took questions from callers to LBC’s James O’Brien radio show. Topics covered included same-sex marriage, the nature of God, climate change, economics and investments, female bishops, welfare reform and relations within the Anglican Communion. A transcript is below. The full recording can also be heard here.
Update: On 6th April the Archbishop gave a joint interview to BBC Radio 4’s Sunday Programme, with Cardinal Vincent Nichols. In it he was asked to expand on the final answer he gave during the LBC interview. The Sunday Programme recording can be heard here (27 mins 55 secs in)
On Tuesday 25th March 2014 Stephen Geoffrey Cottrell, Lord Bishop of Chelmsford, was introduced and took the oath, supported by the Bishop of Chester and the Bishop of Leicester, and signed an undertaking to abide by the Code of Conduct.