*** DEBUG END ***

Work of the Lords Spiritual in Parliament

14 November 2014


From Canon Edward Turner

Sir, - I was interested to read your report of the Archbishop of Canterbury's speech in the Lords about women bishops and his proposal to fast-track them into membership of that House (News, 17 October).

To make such a change in the current arrangement, however, would also provide the opportunity for a more radical development, given that so few bishops are able to contribute their time or expertise, for obvious reasons (apart from taking prayers in the usual rota).

With such heavy commitments in their dioceses and beyond, only a few bishops, I have noticed, are present to speak and vote on important Bills - the Equality Bill in 2010, for example - with the result that their influence is reduced accordingly.

In view of this, and while I fully support bishops' sitting in the House of Lords, I suggest that it should be possible for a bishop to opt out of such duty and service when his or her name is added to the list, so enabling those bishops of either sex who are able to serve to enter the Lords at an earlier date.

I very much hope that the Archbishop of Canterbury will seriously consider this small but significant change, which would go some way to meeting the concerns I have, and those of my former mentor, David Say, that great bishop and parliamentarian, who often discussed this problem with me.

Glebe House, Church Road
Neatishead, Norwich NR12 8BT

Letters to the editor

Letters for publication should be sent to letters@churchtimes.co.uk.

Letters should be exclusive to the Church Times, and include a full postal address. Your name and address will appear alongside your letter.

Train-a-Priest Fund 2022 Appeal

Please consider a donation to TAP Africa this year. Every penny you can give goes to ordinands in Africa who face financial difficulty, to support them as they complete their training. 

Donate online

Read more about this year's appeal

Forthcoming Events

24 May 2022
Disability and Church: Intersectionality
A joint webinar from HeartEdge and Church Times.

2 July 2022
Bringing Down the Mighty: Church, Theology and Structural Injustice
With Anthony Reddie, Azariah France-Williams, Mariama Ifode-Blease, Luke Larner, Will Moore, Stewart Rapley and Victoria Turner.

More events

Welcome to the Church Times

​To explore the Church Times website fully, please sign in or subscribe.

Non-subscribers can read four articles for free each month. (You will need to register.)