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Tributes to the Speaker’s Chaplain

Part of the debate – in the House of Commons at 3:43 pm on 31st October 2019.

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Photo of Dominic Grieve Dominic Grieve Independent, Beaconsfield 3:43 pm, 31st October 2019

I shall be very brief. Throughout the time that Rose has been the chaplain to the Commons, it has been abundantly clear that her pastoral skills are outstanding. Those of us who have gone to the monthly communion in St Margaret’s have come to value her fellowship and her company. In addition, we have had the benefit of seeing her around the building and enjoying her pastoral support at times when some of us have needed it.

Like my hon. Friend Martin Vickers, I have had Rose visit my parish to preach, during a time when we had an interregnum between priests. She was something of a star attraction, which showed just how extensive her reach had become in using her chaplaincy of the Commons to spread the gospel and the word that she wanted to put forward in her own way. I will be very sorry at her departure, but I am delighted that the Bishopric of Dover will be available to her, where I am sure her pastoral skills will be used to full measure. I wish to use this opportunity—on behalf of both myself and my wife, who got to know her—to wish her farewell.

Finally, I would just say that Rose was of course your choice, Mr Speaker, which I seem to remember attracted some controversy at the time. As we consider the end of your career here in the House and of your period as Speaker, I would just like to repeat my thanks to you. It is abundantly clear that if you have ruffled feathers, but there are some feathers you ruffled for very good reasons. Ten years on, those who look back will conclude that our proceedings and our life in this House were enhanced by many of the things that you did.