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Tributes to the Speaker’s Chaplain

Part of the debate – in the House of Commons at 2:54 pm on 31st October 2019.

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Photo of Peter Bottomley Peter Bottomley Conservative, Worthing West 2:54 pm, 31st October 2019

As parliamentary warden of St Margaret’s church, Parliament Square, may I join in supporting the motion of my right hon. Friend the Leader of the House? The only thing that surprised me about his speech is that he did not mention—although the motion does—that Rose Hudson-Wilkin will be the Bishop in Canterbury, where my right hon. Friend married his wife, with a number of people presiding, and he managed to incorporate in this presently Anglican cathedral a Roman Catholic mass. I think that it is almost coming home time for him.

May I say how much I welcomed the words of Valerie Vaz? Watching Rose Hudson-Wilkin work with John Hall as Dean of Westminster, with Andrew Tremlett and with Jane Sinclair, who have been the rectors at St Margaret’s, and in her sharing of the monthly parliamentary communion and the breakfast in your house, Mr Speaker, we have seen closely in private what she is also well known for in public. I add that it was a delight to meet her grandchildren at the reception in your house, Mr Speaker; they are a tribute to the modern generation in this country, and if some of them were to come here not perhaps as Speaker’s chaplain but as Members of Parliament it would be a delight, especially if I could remain here to welcome and join them.

I want to end with some words that will be familiar to Rose Hudson-Wilkin:

“Our vision is for everyone, everywhere to encounter God’s love and be empowered to transform their communities through faith shared in words and action.”

She says she comes from Montego Bay; I say she comes from the Church Army, and those words are the Church Army dedication. I thank her for her dedication to us.