The House of Lords is composed of some six hundred and seventy Lords, some of whom are Spiritual, the remainder Temporal. The Lords Spiritual are dignitaries of the Church of England. They consist of the Archbishops of Canterbury and York, the Bishops of London, Winchester and Durham, and the twenty-one other bishops who have filled their posts the longest.

They are life peers, but not hereditary ones. The remaining peers are the Lords Temporal, most of whom are hereditary ones, though not all. The House of Lords functions in much the same way as the House of Commons.