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Bishop of Carlisle takes seat in the House of Lords

The Bishop of Carlisle has taken his seat in the House of Lords following a special ceremony today.

The Rt Rev’d James Newcome was formally introduced as one of the 26 Lords Spiritual - Archbishops and Bishops - who sit in Parliament’s second chamber.

His introduction follows the retirement of the Bishop of Liverpool earlier this year.

Talking after the ceremony Bishop James said: “It has been a tremendously exciting day for me, made all the more special to have my wife, Alison, and three of our four children here with me to witness the ceremony.

“I’m very much looking forward to my work here at the Lords but I’d also stress that my work in the diocese will always be my priority.”

Bishop James will spend a minimum of three weeks a year at the House. As Duty Bishop for those weeks he will lead prayers before Parliamentary business as well as taking part in debates.

He was supported at today’s ceremony by the Bishop of Ripon and Leeds and the Bishop of Birmingham. After his introduction they lead him to his seat in the House.

Bishop James added: “For me it was a very proud moment but also a very humble moment to take my seat in the House.

“The work conducted here is of great importance and it is an honour to be part of that Parliamentary process.”

His introduction comes two and a half years after he was appointed the Church of England’s lead bishop on healthcare issues.

During that time the Bishop of Bristol has acted for him during debates on health issues in the Lords. Now Bishop James will be able to personally take the Church of England’s lead on health related matters during debates in the Lords.

A date has yet to be fixed for his maiden speech which could centre on a health matter or an issue specifically affecting Cumbria.

Notes for editors:
The House of Lords is the second chamber of the UK Parliament. It is independent from, and complements the work of, the elected House of Commons. The Lords shares the task of making and shaping laws and checking and challenging the work of the government.
The Lords has three main roles:
• Making laws
• In-depth consideration of public policy
• Holding government to account


For further information please contact Dave Roberts, Diocesan Communications Officer, on 07984 927434 or at

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