Bishop of Southwell and Nottingham becomes a Member of the House of Lords
The Bishop of Southwell and Nottingham, the Right Reverend Paul Williams, has taken his seat in the House of Lords on June 13. He was introduced to the Upper Chamber of Parliament by the Bishop of Birmingham and the Bishop of Southwark as two of the 26 bishops, known as the Lords Spiritual.
While Bishop Paul’s primary focus continues to be overseeing the life and mission of the Church of England across the diocese, his role as one of bishops who take an active part in the work of the House of Lords has national significance.
Bishop Paul said, “I look forward to making a positive contribution in speaking on issues that affect the lives and livelihoods of people living and working in the city and county of Nottinghamshire, as well as the needs of the wider East Midlands region. In particular, I will be seeking opportunities to engage with public policy relating to children and young people, families, social care and the environment.”
“I will be very much drawing on the considerable experience and wisdom of key partners in the region and hope to bring a distinctly Christ-centred perspective to support the work of Parliament.”
Bishop Paul was appointed Bishop of Southwell and Nottingham in May 2015. He leads the diocese in partnership withordained and lay leaders who serve across 300 churches and 73 church schools. He is supported by the Bishop of Sherwood, Rt Revd Dr Andy Emerton. Bishop Paul was first ordained as a bishop in 2009 when he became the Bishop of Kensington, an Area Bishop within the Diocese of London.
26 bishops of the Church of England sit in the House of Lords, which is the Second Chamber of the United Kingdom Parliament. Known as the Lords Spiritual, the bishops read prayers at the start of each day’s parliamentary business and play an active role in the life and work of the House, including in behind-the-scenes committee work scrutinising draft legislation.
The Archbishops of Canterbury and York and the Bishops of London, Durham and Winchester are ex-officio members of the House of Lords. The remaining 21 places are occupied by a mixture of those who are longest serving as bishops of English dioceses, and those who qualify under the Lords Spiritual (Women) Act 2015, whereby female diocesan bishops enter the House once there is a vacancy.