The Aegies Associates News & Blog Section
In an ancient ceremony dating back to the formation of the House of Lords, The Right Reverend Justin Welby, Bishop of Durham will be introduced to the House of Lords on Thursday 12th January 2012.
"I am delighted to be being introduced to the House, it is a great honour. It will give me a chance to raise important North East issues on a national stage and to be an advocate for the region."
The introduction ceremony must take place in the Lords Chamber before each new Member is able to take their seat in the House. During the ceremony, the Bishop will either swear or solemnly affirm his allegiance to the Queen; he will also sign an undertaking to abide by the House of Lords Code of Conduct.
The ceremony which signifies the right of the Bishop of Durham to take his seat in the House of Lords as a Lord Spiritual will see the Bishop lead by his supporters the other Lords Spirituals in their clerical vestments in procession through the chamber where the ceremony takes place.
Bishop Justin said: "I am delighted to be being introduced to the House, it is a great honour. It will give me a chance to raise important North East issues on a national stage and to be an advocate for the region."
[Notes from Wikipedia and other sources]
The procession, with the junior supporter in front and the senior supporter behind the Bishop, arrives in front of the Table of the House. The new member then submits his writ of summons, which is read by a Clerk. The Clerk then administers the Oath or Solemn Affirmation. Then, the procession progresses to the Woolsack, where the new Bishop shakes hands with the Lord Speaker. Then, instead of leaving the Chamber, the new member and his supporters immediately take seats on the Bishops' Benches. (Archbishops and Bishops do not sit with any particular party, though the two Bishops' Benches are on the same side of the Chamber as the seats for members of the Government party.)