The Commission has been established at the request of the Cumbria Leaders Board. Evidence from charities, community organisations and individuals will be collected over the coming months.
Bishop James, who is the Church of England's lead bishop on healthcare, said:
This is a vitally important body of work and one which I'm sure will demonstrate directly the frontline impact of welfare reforms.
It's our Christian duty to ensure all in society are cared for and protected and that any reforms do not unfairly penalise people.
I would urge anyone who has concerns to register those with the Commission through the proper channels. This will allow us to feed back to the relevant authorities all of our findings."
As part of the Commission's schedule four special hearings are to take place across Cumbria to enable people to give evidence.