Make time-limited provision for vacancies among the Lords Spiritual to be
filled by bishops who are women.
Be it enacted by the Queen’s most Excellent Majesty, by and with the advice and
consent of the Lords Spiritual and Temporal, and Commons, in this present
Parliament assembled, and by the authority of the same, as follows:—
(1) This section applies where—
a vacancy arises among the Lords Spiritual in the House of Lords in the
10 years beginning with the day on which this Act comes into force,
at the time the vacancy arises there is at least one eligible bishop who is
a woman, and
the person who would otherwise be entitled to fill the vacancy under
section 5 of the Bishoprics Act 1878 is a man.
If at the time the vacancy arises there is only one eligible bishop who is a
woman, the vacancy is to be filled by the issue of writs of summons to her.
If at the time the vacancy arises there are two or more eligible bishops who are
women, the vacancy is to be filled by the issue of writs of summons to the one
whose election as a bishop of a diocese in England was confirmed first.
In this section “eligible bishop” means a bishop of a diocese in England who is
not yet entitled in that capacity to the issue of writs of summons.
The reference in subsection (1) to a vacancy does not include a vacancy arising
by the avoidance of the see of Canterbury, York, London, Durham or
This Act comes into force on the day Parliament first meets following the first
parliamentary general election after this Act is passed.
(2) This Act extends to England and Wales, Scotland and Northern Ireland.
Lords Spiritual (Women) BillPage 2
(3) This Act may be cited as the Lords Spiritual (Women) Act 2015.