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I want briefly to add a personal note of thanks and tribute to Rev. Rose Hudson-Wilkin. Rose married Anne-Louise, my wife, and I about 18 months ago. She did that with great charm, great style and joyfulness, and great Christianity. She showed great care and sensitivity to us in preparing us for that wedding, and also to our families, and, in particular, Anne-Louise’s two children, who had lost their own father tragically. The care that she showed has always stuck with us. Since then, particularly in the past few months, when Anne-Louise, sadly, has been unwell, Rose’s continuing support and prayers, and the kindness that she has shown to our family, mean more to us than words that I can say in this Chamber could ever adequately convey.
I also want to say a quick word about Rose’s husband, Ken, who has been a great support to her, and who I, as Chair of the Justice Committee, had the pleasure of meeting when he was working as a prison chaplain. He, too, has been a great servant of God and of the broader community, and a great witness to his faith. That enables me also to say how valued the work of the prison chaplaincy service is by many in difficult times of their lives.
Anne-Louise specifically asked me to come here today and say that she is still in hospital but on the mend, and that Rose’s support has meant more to us than anything. For those of us who do have a Christian faith, she could not be a better pastor and shepherd. For those who do not have such a faith, there could be no better ambassador. Dover will gain immeasurably from her arrival as its suffragan bishop.
Finally, Mr Speaker, I wish you every success and your family every happiness for the future. It might not be so easy for me to see directly eye to eye with your successor; that might be more of a physical challenge for some of us. I wish you well and hope that all goes happily for you and your family in the future. In the end, we ought to remember that the things that bring us here in our desire to serve our communities are more important than the things that may divide us on political grounds.