Speaker John Bercow has announced that Rev Canon Patricia Hillas will be the new Speaker’s Chaplain.
A former youth and social worker specialising in supporting those diagnosed with HIV and AIDS, Tricia is currently Canon Pastor at St Paul’s Cathedral. In this role she gave vital support to the families of victims of the Grenfell Tower tragedy.
Speaker John Bercow welcomed her appointment:
“We were greatly taken by her team’s care and support for the families of those bereaved in the Grenfell Tower tragedy around the national memorial service, and her ministry beyond the church, to homeless people, to refugees and those diagnosed with HIV/AIDS.”
Tricia – the second female Speaker’s Chaplain from a BAME background – said she was “thrilled and excited” to be taking over from the Rev Rose Hudson-Wilkin, who is set to be elevated to Bishop of Dover next month.
“I am very keen to immerse myself in Parliament and to support the work of staff and MPs whose decisions have a real and lasting impact on communities across the UK.”
Outside of work, Tricia is a keen traveller. She’s trekked to Everest Base camp, made an assault on Kilimanjaro, hiked up Indonesian volcanoes and visited the Canadian Rockies, the Arctic Circle, Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Bolivia, Peru, Ecuador. She’s also an ardent Watford FC supporter and can regularly be spotted at their Vicarage Road grounds.
As the 80th Speaker’s Chaplain, Tricia will provide pastoral care of both Members and staff at Westminster. Continuing a practice that dates from around 1558, she’ll conduct daily prayers in the Commons Chamber, after the Speaker’s procession. She’ll also conduct a weekly Eucharistic service in the chapel, and officiate at weddings, marriage blessings and baptisms of MPs and their immediate families.