The Bishop of Sheffield, the Right Reverend Dr Pete Wilcox, will take his seat in the House of Lords this afternoon as one of the Lords Spiritual.
Bishop Pete became Diocesan Bishop for the Diocese of Sheffield nearly six years ago when he was installed in Sheffield Cathedral on 23 September 2017. He originally trained at Ridley Hall in Cambridge after completing a degree in modern history at Durham University.
After serving as a curate on Teesside, he studied for a doctorate at Oxford University. In 1993, he returned to the Durham Diocese to serve as a team vicar in the Parish of Gateshead, while assisting in the training of ordinands at Cranmer Hall as Director of its Urban Mission Centre. In 1998 he took up a new position as priest in charge of St Paul’s Church at the Crossing in Walsall. Between August 2006 and July 2012 he was Canon Chancellor at Lichfield Cathedral, a post which involved oversight of the Cathedral’s work in education and outreach. Between 2012 and 2017 Bishop Pete spent five years as Dean of Liverpool, overseeing the largest Cathedral building in the Church of England.
In a statement Bishop Pete said:
“I am keen to make an effective contribution in the House of Lords for the benefit of the communities we serve across the Diocese. I hope to be more visibly the Bishop of Sheffield, not less, on account of this new responsibility. There will undoubtedly be opportunities to make new partnerships both across our region and at Westminster, for the sake of the coming kingdom of God. My first priority remains unchanged: to see the Diocese of Sheffield renewed, released and rejuvenated in the power of the Holy Spirit, as we bear witness to the salvation God has won for us in the life, death and resurrection of our Lord Jesus.”
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.
Bishop Pete is scheduled to be introduced to the House of Lords at 2.30pm today (Tuesday 14th March).