The Archbishops of Canterbury and York, and the Bishops of London, Durham and Winchester always have seats in the House of Lords.
Twenty-one of the remaining Diocesan Bishops also sit in the Upper House, and they normally do so according to their dates of seniority. When a vacancy arises, it is filled by the senior Diocesan Bishop without a seat, and the vacated See is placed at the foot of the list of those awaiting seats.
Following the recent Lord’s Spiritual (Women) Act 2015, however, whenever a vacancy arises during the ten years following the act, the position must be filled by a female bishop, if one is eligible.
The Bishop of Sodor and Man and the Bishop of Gibraltar in Europe are not eligible to sit in the House of Lords, but the former has a seat in the Upper House of the Tynwald, Isle of Man.
© The Archbishops' Council 2004–2020