Engaging Minds – Lord Griffiths – Should the House of Lords be Abolished

Verulam School St Albans Hertfordshire

His decision to become a Methodist minister led to a ten-year stint serving the Church in Haiti where he was ordained and where two of his children were born. His interest in Haitian politics, literature, history and culture has remained unabated and he is widely recognized for his expertise in this field. He is married to Margaret, a very remarkable person and the anchor of his fast-moving life. A third child was born in England after their time in Haiti ended. He has remained in or near London ever since, serving as a pastor in four different appointments, most recently as the senior pastor at Wesley’s Chapel, the “mother church” of world Methodism, a centre of pilgrimage with a fast-growing multicultural congregation. He retired from full-time ministry in the summer of 2017.

He has undertaken extensive pieces of work in the field of education – being recently at the heart of the creation of the ecumenical University of Roehampton (London). He is currently chair of trustees of the Central Foundation Schools of London which oversees two inner city High Schools. For thirty years he has exercised a radio ministry with the BBC and Premier Christian radio. He is President of the Boys’ Brigade, a national Christian youth organisation, and also Patron or President of half a dozen charities. In 1994-1995 he was President of the Methodist Conference of Great Britain.

In 2004 he was appointed to the House of Lords in the British parliament where he sits on the Labour Party front bench with special (shadow) responsibilities as spokesperson
for the Digital, Culture, Media and Sport Ministry and also for Wales. He is a Fellow of the Learned Society of Wales, of Harris-Manchester College Oxford and a Paul Harris Fellow of Rotary International. He has been awarded honorary doctorates by Evansville University (Indiana) and Oxford Brookes University. He holds honorary fellowships of Cardiff University, Trinity Saint David’s College in Wales, Sarum College in Salisbury and Southlands College in Roehampton. He is an honorary Canon (Emeritus) of Saint Paul’s Cathedral, a Freeman of the City of London, a Knight of the Order of Saint John of Jerusalem and an Officer of the Order of Christopher Columbus (Dominican Republic). He lists his recreations as “fun and friendship spiced with occasional moments of solitude.”

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