Bishop of Birmingham asks Government about relocation of the House of Lords

On 14th July Lord Young of Cookham asked Her Majesty’s Government “whether they plan to relocate the House of Lords to York.” The Rt Revd David Urquhart, Bishop of Birmingham, asked a follow up question focusing on the relocation of the House of Lords.

The Lord Bishop of Birmingham: Does the Minister agree that, whether temporarily or permanently, it is better, in a bicameral system, as the noble Lord, Lord Lang, alluded to, for the two Houses to be placed together? In terms of reaching the people, would he also commend the Lord Speaker’s outreach programme to bring civic duties and understanding to schools as a good way of communicating? By the way, when this was last talked about here, the incoming Archbishop of York offered his garden, which is extensive, as a place. May I humbly suggest that there is a nearer alternative in Birmingham?

Continue reading “Bishop of Birmingham asks Government about relocation of the House of Lords”

Bishop of Newcastle leads prayers in first virtual sitting of House of Lords

On 21st April 2020 the House of Lords began to sit virtually for the first time, using online facilities to enable its procedures to continue during the period of social distancing caused by the Covid-19 pandemic.

The House of Commons also combined virtual and physical proceedings, with some MPs present and others using technology to participate.

In the Commons Chamber physical proceedings began as usual with prayers, read in person by the Speaker’s Chaplain. In the House of Lords the Bishop of Newcastle, Rt Revd Christine Hardman, began the first ever virtual sitting by reading prayers for those taking part in online proceedings, using a modified form of the usual Prayers for Parliament. She did so in her capacity as duty bishop for the week. Continue reading “Bishop of Newcastle leads prayers in first virtual sitting of House of Lords”

Bishop of Chelmsford asks Government not to relocate House of Lords to York

In the House of Lords on Monday 20th January 2020, Lord Foulkes asked a Private Notice Question, “to ask Her Majesty’s Government what consideration is being given to relocating the House of Lords out of London”, following media reports that the Government was considering relocation of the House to York. The Bishop of Chelmsford (and Archbishop of York designate) Rt Revd Stephen Cottrell, followed up –

Continue reading “Bishop of Chelmsford asks Government not to relocate House of Lords to York”

Bishop of Peterborough pays tribute to retiring Principal Doorkeeper

On 5th November 2019 the House of Lords paid tribute to Keith Phipps, Principal Doorkeeper and one of its longest-serving members of staff, on his retirement after 25 years of service. The Bishop of Peterborough, Rt Revd Donald Allister, added his own words of appreciation:

Lord Bishop of Peterborough: My Lords, on behalf on these Benches I join in the tributes that others have paid. Each of us coming into the House has been greeted and welcomed. We have been guided, led in right directions and stopped from going in wrong ones, always with firmness and kindness. It is that kindness for which I thank Mr Phipps as I, like others, wish him a long, happy, healthy retirement.

via Parliament.uk

Introduction of Lord Chartres

On Tuesday 21 November 2017 at 2.38 pm the right reverend and right honourable Richard John Carew Chartres, KCVO, lately Bishop of London, was introduced and took the oath, supported by Baroness O’Neill of Bengarve and Lord Luce, and signed an undertaking to abide by the Code of Conduct.

Lord Chartres will sit as an independent Crossbench Peer.

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Former Bishop of London to become life Peer

From the website of the Archbishop of Canterbury:

Thursday 12th October 2017

The Archbishop of Canterbury has warmly welcomed the announcement by 10 Downing Street that the former Bishop of London is to be made a life peer.

Bishop Richard, the 132nd occupant of the see, retired in March of this year after almost 22 years in the post. He will sit in the House of Lords as a crossbench member. Continue reading “Former Bishop of London to become life Peer”

Bishop of Southwark pays tribute to retiring Clerk of the Parliaments

southwark-20feb17On 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. Continue reading “Bishop of Southwark pays tribute to retiring Clerk of the Parliaments”

Archbishop of Canterbury pays tribute to departing Lord Speaker

abc-mcfall-2On 5th September 2016, the Archbishop of Canterbury, the Rt Hon. and Rt Rev. Justin Welby, paid tribute to the outgoing Lord Speaker and Deputy Lord Speaker, Baroness D’Souza and Lord Laming. Archbishop Justin also welcomed the new Lord Speaker, Lord Fowler, and the new Senior Deputy Lord Speaker, Lord McFall, to their roles.


Archbishop of Canterbury: My Lords, on behalf of the Lords spiritual I join in the tributes to the noble Baroness, Lady D’Souza, and to the noble Lord, Lord Laming. The noble Baroness, Lady D’Souza, has been a great friend to the Lords spiritual, who normally arrive with even more trepidation and less familiarity with the processes of a House such as this than anyone else coming here. She has been assiduous in seeing new bishops and advising them, and then advising them later when they did not quite make it—something that I appreciated on more than one occasion. She always did it with the greatest tact and courtesy and I think that we would all say that she was an encourager of great aptitude. Continue reading “Archbishop of Canterbury pays tribute to departing Lord Speaker”

Lords Spiritual (Women) Bill completes passage through Parliament

On 12th March 2015 the Lords Spiritual (Women) Bill completed its passage through Parliament, when it received an unopposed Third Reading in the House of Lords. Continue reading “Lords Spiritual (Women) Bill completes passage through Parliament”

Lords Spiritual (Women) Bill – Lords Committee and Report Stages

On 26th February 2015 the House of Lords considered the Lords Spiritual (Women) Bill in Committee. Continue reading “Lords Spiritual (Women) Bill – Lords Committee and Report Stages”