The Best Parts of the Job…

Perhaps it is that our culture has become quite negative about politics that I am so often asked what are the most difficult and the worst parts of my job. But this morning as I was walking past Peers Entrance a man was taking his young children out of their buggy to sit them on the security barrier. He then proceeded to take a photo with my workplace as the background and it reminded me of the best parts of my job. How many people work in a building that has world iconic status like the Houses of Parliament? So that is one of the best parts of my job but here are some of the others…
On Tuesday I was able to book a beautiful room and terrace to host a dinner to celebrate the 20th anniversary of a church called Jesus House. Jesus House is the HQ church of the largest black led denomination in the UK. (700+ parishes established in 20 years) These anniversaries are important to reflect as well as to celebrate. I could not help thinking what UK Church attendance would look like without the migration from the Caribbean and Africa into the mainstream as well as ‘Black Led’ denominations. Or without the Eastern European migration into the Catholic Church and the establishment of vibrant Chinese, Brazilian and Pakistani Christian Fellowships to name but a few. To invite people in for a meal, to be free to pray over our food and to be served by wonderful staff is one of the best parts of my job.
I got home that night on such a high that when I saw on twitter that the Bishop of Leicester had been speaking about fast tracking women bishops into the Lords, I responded. I don’t ordinarily get involved on twitter but I was already on public record (the House magazine on line) that waiting 5 years or so for a woman to be the longest serving diocesan Bishop to be able to join the Lords, is too long. The next day a couple of media outlets were calling the office for further comment. Now that is a great part of the job; that people are sometimes interested in what I have to say.
On a more serious note, I serve on the Joint Committee on Human Rights and it was our committee that raised with the Secretary of State for Justice how the one year residence test for legal aid would affect refugees. They are not asylum seekers, who were already exempt from the test, but arrive on our shores with refugee status usually granted by the UN. The SOS said he would take the issue away to look at it and the government has now exempted refugees as well. Will any refugee ever know that I had a wee role to play in obtaining their legal assistance in the UK; of course not, but it gives me great satisfaction.
Finally, as I am single I often end up applying for tickets, for staff or friends, for occasions such as the State Opening of Parliament. Such tickets are balloted but the peels of delight when I handed my member of staff her ticket to sit in the Royal Gallery will remain with me for a long time. Now that is perhaps the best part of the job!

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