Church of England bishops to remain in reformed House of Lords

Posted Nov 1, 2017

[Anglican Communion News Service] The 26 Church of England bishops with places in the upper house of the United Kingdom’s Parliament will retain their places under new plans to reform the House of Lords. Bishops have been part of England’s governance since absolute rule by monarchs in the days long before the emergence of democracy in the country. Today the House of Lords includes the archbishops of Canterbury and York, the bishops of London, Durham and Winchester, and 21 other diocesan bishops by seniority of service. For a short transitional period, women in the episcopate take precedence over male colleagues in filling vacancies in the 21 other bishops.

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Comments (2)

  1. The Rev. Fred Fenton says:

    I think it’s great that women bishops will, for a time at least, take precedence over male colleagues in filling vacancies in the reformed House of Lords. May the women–and all the bishops–take inspiration from the great detective writer P.D. James, of whom it was said, she rarely appeared in the House of Lords after becoming a member, but when she did everyone sat up and listened, because they knew she would have something important to say.

  2. Anthony Price says:

    I think it is ridiculous that any religious leaders are granted automatic, unelected seats in the House of Lords (not to mention that they have always been Anglican bishops and not representatives of other denominations). Does Italy automatically award voting seats to Roman Catholic hierarchy in their parliament? I wouldn’t be surprised if they did, but would hope they have by now discarded the old bonds of church and state, which the UK has yet to undertake. If this is a “reformed” House of Lords, then Brexit is probably a blessing in disguise for continental governance, lest they get inspired to revert to the middle ages as well.

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