Lords Spiritual

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English[edit]

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Proper noun[edit]

Lords Spiritual

  1. The 26 bishops of the Church of England who serve in the House of Lords.

Usage notes[edit]

  • The Lords Spiritual always include the occupants of the five "great sees": the archbishops of Canterbury and York and the bishops of London, Durham, and Winchester. The bishops of Sodor & Man and of Gibraltar-in-Europe are excluded from sitting in Parliament as their sees lie outside Great Britain. Of the 37 other bishops, the 21 most senior by term in office (inclusive of all translations between sees) form the remainder of the Lords Spiritual.
  • Formerly inclusive of bishops from Scotland, Wales, and Ireland, the membership is now exclusively English as the Scottish Kirk is Presbyterian and the Anglican churches of Wales and Northern Ireland are no longer established churches.

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