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Government & Parliament

Archbishops of Canterbury have been members of the House of Lords by virtue of their office since parliament first began many centuries ago. In today's Lords there are two types of member - the Lords Temporal (usually known simply as Peers) and the Lords Spiritual (the two archbishops and 24 most senior bishops of the Church of England). The Archbishop of Canterbury is the most senior member of the Lords, being the first member entitled to take the oath of allegiance at the start of a new parliament after the Lord Speaker.

See further information on the Lords Spiritual and the Church of England in Parliament at the Church of England website.


May 2015

Archbishop appoints new lead bishop in the Lords
18 May 2015
The Bishop of Birmingham, David Urquhart, has been appointed by the Archbishop of Canterbury as Convenor…

March 2015

Archbishop asks government about Nigeria's presidential election
25 March 2015
Written response from the Foreign and Commonwealth Office to the Archbishop's question about forthcoming…

February 2015

Archbishop Justin's speech at Think, Pray, Vote conference
21 February 2015
Speech given by Archbishop Justin at the Love your neighbour: Think, Pray, Vote conference in Coventry.

December 2014

Archbishop of Canterbury's speech at APPG hunger report launch
8 December 2014
Archbishop Justin's speech at the launch of the All-Party Parliamentary Group Inquiry Report on Hunger…

Archbishop's House of Lords soft power debate - opening speech
5 December 2014
The Archbishop of Canterbury's opening speech in the House of Lords debate he is leading today on the…

September 2014

Archbishop of Canterbury’s speech in Lords debate on Iraq
26 September 2014
Transcript of Archbishop Justin Welby’s speech in the House of Lords debate today on developments in…

July 2014

Women bishops: Archbishop's speech to Ecclesiastical Committee
23 July 2014
Archbishop Justin Welby outlined how General Synod came to approve legislation allowing women to become…

June 2014

Archbishop addresses National Parliamentary Prayer Breakfast
17 June 2014
Speaking in Westminster today the Archbishop said the global 21st century church must - as Pope Francis…

April 2014

Archbishop Justin blogs: 'A Christian country?'
24 April 2014
Our society’s laws and values 'have been shaped and founded on Christianity' says Archbishop Justin.…

December 2012

Bishop Justin Welby speaks on Credit Unions in House of Lords
13 December 2012
The Bishop of Durham, Justin Welby, took part in a debate in the House of Lords on Credit Unions.

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