Oxford

Bishop of Oxford Steven Croft takes seat in House of Lords

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Media captionThe Right Reverend Steven Croft swore allegiance to the Queen in Lords ceremony

The new Bishop of Oxford has officially taken his seat in the House of Lords after the post remained vacant for nearly two years.

The Right Reverend Dr Steven Croft was appointed in April after the Right Rev John Pritchard stepped down as leader of the diocese.

The first round of interviews held last year failed to produce a candidate.

Dr Croft, formerly Bishop of Sheffield, will take his seat at Christchurch Cathedral, Oxford, on 30 September.

During the ceremony at Westminster on Tuesday, Dr Croft swore an oath of allegiance to the Queen, the head of the Church of England.

After Downing Street announced his appointment earlier this year, Dr Croft had his election confirmed at Lambeth Palace on 6 July, which allows him to sit in the Lords before being accepted bishop of Oxfordshire, Berkshire and Buckinghamshire.

Prior to the new appointment, Bishop of Dorchester the Right Rev Colin Fletcher was the acting bishop for the area.

Image caption Rt Rev Dr Steven Croft, left, has left his role as the Bishop of Sheffield to lead the Diocese of Oxford, which was temporarily led by the Rt Rev Colin Fletcher

A first round of interviews for candidates was held in 2015, but the Archbishop of Canterbury said the Crown Nominations Commission - which elects bishops - had "been unable to discern the candidate whom God is calling".

Dr Croft is one of 26 bishops that sits in the House of Lords.

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