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. Continue reading
On 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
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
On 26th February 2015 the House of Lords considered the Lords Spiritual (Women) Bill in Committee. Continue reading
At Questions to the Leader of the House of Commons on 18th December 2014, the Second Church Estates Commissioner, Sir Tony Baldry MP, welcomed the introduction by Government of the Lords Spiritual (Women) Bill:
Sir Tony Baldry (Banbury) (Con): May I welcome the publication today of the Lords Spiritual (Women) Bill, which will provide the opportunity to fast-track into the House of Lords women consecrated as diocesan bishops? Continue reading
On 28th July 2014, two bishops took part in a division of the House of Lords on Crossbench Peer Baroness Boothroyd’s Motion to Regret on the role of the Leader of the House of Lords.
House of Lords Division Lobby
Baroness Boothroyd moved that this House welcomes the appointment of Baroness Stowell of Beeston as Leader of the House of Lords, but regrets the decision of the Prime Minister to diminish the standing of the House by failing to make her a full member of the Cabinet; and requests that the Prime Minister reconsiders this decision.
The Bishop of Chester, the Rt Revd Peter Forster (who also spoke during the debate) and the Bishop of Sheffield, the Rt Revd Steven Croft, voted ‘content’ with the motion. No bishop voted ‘not content’.
There were: Contents: 177 | Not Contents: 29 | Result: Government Defeat
On 28th July 2014, former speaker of the House of Commons, and Crossbench Peer the Rt Hon. the Baroness Boothroyd, moved a Motion to Regret in the House of Lords. The Motion stated:
That this House welcomes the appointment of Baroness Stowell of Beeston as Leader of the House of Lords, but regrets the decision of the Prime Minister to diminish the standing of the House by failing to make her a full member of the Cabinet; and requests that the Prime Minister reconsiders this decision.
The Bishop of Chester, the Rt Revd Peter Forster, took part in the debate on the motion. He spoke of the way in which power is distributed throughout the contemporary political system and how this distribution of power may need to be reconsidered if the public are to be re-engaged with the political process.
The Lord Bishop of Chester: My Lords, I want to associate these Benches fully with both sides of the Motion; first, the welcome to the noble Baroness in her role as Leader of the House and, secondly, the regrets that have been expressed already in our debate. Rather than focus on the details, I shall make a few comments about the wider symbolic significance of these events. A healthy society distributes power. The banking crisis arose partly because power got too concentrated in certain institutions and in a certain section of the financial community. Government, if it is about nothing else, is about the exercise of power. We have to accept and acknowledge that, and not try to deny it. The exercise of power calls for clear leadership, which is right, too. Continue reading