The Bishop of Blackburn, Rt Rev. Julian Henderson, has become the latest bishop to be welcomed into the House of Lords. Blackburn is now part of an exclusive collective of clergy called the 'Lords Spiritual', which comprises a group of bishops who are tasked with reading daily prayers and playing "a full and active role in the life and work of the upper house."
Of his welcoming into the Lords Spiritual, Bishop Julian said: "I have been very touched by the prayers and good wishes for my introduction into the House of Lords. To be entrusted with this privilege and responsibility is an honour which I take very seriously.
“It will no doubt take some time to become used to the workings of the Lords, to learn how much time I should give to its agenda and what implications there are for us as a Diocese.
“I am looking forward to being a new voice for the County; to engaging in debates on matters of public interest from a Christian perspective and to joining other Lords Spiritual and Lords Temporal in holding the Government of the day to account.”
The Lords Temporal is made up of Life Peers, the Earl Marshal, Lord Great Chamberlain, and Hereditary Peers.
In light of the significant event, the Diocesan Board of Education asked all schools across Lancashire to pray for Bishop Julian on his special day.
Alan Brindle, Headteacher of Heskin Pemberton's CofE Primary School, said: “This is wonderful news and an amazing honour. Please pass on our congratulations from everyone here at Heskin. Bishop Julian will be in our prayers.”
Bishop Julian will be invited to make his first address (or ‘maiden speech’) to the House at a date yet to be announced.
Of the 26 bishops of the Church of England sitting in the House of Lords, five are permanently seated: The Archbishop of Canterbury, Archbishop of York, Bishop of London, Bishop of Durham and the Bishop of Winchester.