ACNS 3990 | ENGLAND | 17 JUNE 2005  

Archbishop of York Announced

News release from the Anglican Communion News Service


Downing Street has this morning announced the approval of The Queen for the appointment of the Rt Revd Dr John Sentamu, currently Bishop of Birmingham, to succeed the Rt Revd Dr David Hope as the next Archbishop of York.

Bishop Sentamu, who is 56, was born in Uganda. He was educated in Uganda, graduating in Law from Makerere University, Kampala and is an Advocate of the High Court of Uganda. He practised Law both at the Bar and at the Bench before he came to the UK in 1974. He read theology at Selwyn College Cambridge where he gained a Masters Degree and a Doctorate. He trained for ordination at Ridley Hall, Cambridge, then part of the Cambridge Federation of Theological Colleges. Following his ordination in 1979 he served as Assistant Chaplain at Selwyn College, Cambridge. From 1979-1982 he was Chaplain at HM Remand Centre Lachmere House and Curate of St Andrew's, Ham, in the Diocese of Southwark.

From 1982-1983 he was Curate of St Paul, Herne Hill, and from 1983-1984 Priest-in-Charge at Holy Trinity, Tulse Hill, and Parish Priest of St Matthias Upper Tulse Hill. He then became Vicar of the joint benefice of Holy Trinity and St Matthias from 1984-1986. Between 1987 and 1989 he was also Priest in-Charge of St Saviour Brixton Hill. He was appointed Bishop of Stepney in 1996 and Bishop of Birmingham in 2002.

He said: “I am looking forward to working with the Archbishop of Canterbury and other bishops to lead the Church of England in its mission to the nation. It is imperative that the Church regains her vision and confidence in mission, developing ways that will enable the Church of England to reconnect imaginatively with England.

“It is important that the Church of England’s voice is heard locally, nationally and internationally, standing up for justice, bringing Good News to the poor, healing to the broken-hearted, setting at liberty those who are oppressed, and proclaiming the death of Christ and his resurrection until he comes again. What an exciting prospect.”

Role of the Archbishop of York

The role of the Archbishop of York is varied. He is Primate of England and Archbishop of the Province of York - the whole northern half of England - with pastoral oversight of the bishops in that Province and responsibility for clergy discipline.

He is also Diocesan Bishop of York with Suffragan Bishops in three archdeaconries.

Together with the Archbishop of Canterbury, the Archbishop of York is a leading spokesman on behalf of the Church of England as well as one of the Presidents of the General Synod and of the Archbishop's Council. He is also Chairman and President of numerous other Church bodies.
The Archbishop is Patron or President of over 200 charities/organisations and Patron to occasional short term appeals - both Church and secular.

The last Archbishop of York, Dr David Hope KCVO, left Bishopthorpe Palace in February to take up the post of Vicar of Ilkley.

In a statement from Lambeth Palace, the Archbishop of Canterbury, Dr Rowan Williams welcomed the news: “I am absolutely delighted to welcome the appointment of Bishop John Sentamu as Archbishop of York. He is someone who has always combined a passion for sharing the gospel with a keen sense of the problems and challenges of our society, particularly where racism is concerned. His ministry in London and Birmingham has been praised by Christians of all backgrounds. He is a caring pastor and an exciting communicator. I look forward with great enthusiasm to working with him.”

Welcoming the appointment on behalf of the Diocese of York, the Bishop of Hull, the Rt Revd Richard Frith, said: “This is an exciting moment for the Diocese of York. The Bishop of Birmingham is known as a man of energy and passion for the Gospel of Jesus Christ – a thinker, campaigner and teacher – but above all a man of prayer and someone who lights up the Word of God for the world around him.

“Bishop John is known in Birmingham and London for plain speaking, and that will go down very well in the Diocese of York.

“His wide experience of life and the Church from Africa to Birmingham has shown him to be adaptable and versatile, and ready to engage with people of all backgrounds and ways of life. He challenges boundaries and fixed ideas about the world, the Church and the Christian Gospel – and he’s great fun too.

“The whole Diocese will want to pray for Bishop John and for Margaret as they prepare to move here, and to give thanks for a leader who will clearly express the Christian good news in a hectic and changing world.”

Bishop Sentamu is married to Margaret, a Senior Selection Secretary in the Ministry Division of the Archbishops' Council, and they have two grown-up children, Grace and Geoffrey. Bishop Sentamu's interests include music, cooking, reading, athletics, rugby and football.

From 1997 to 1999, Bishop Sentamu was Adviser to the Stephen Lawrence Judicial Inquiry and he chaired the Damilola Taylor Review, 2002. He has been the chairman of the NHS Haemoglobinopathy Screening Programme since 2001. Between 2002 and 2004 he was Chairman of the EC1 New Deal. He became President of Youth for Christ in 2004 and President of the YMCA in April 2005.



Further biographical information

Bishop Sentamu was on the General Synod from 1985 to 1996. He was also a member of the Archbishop's Advisory Group on Urban Priority Areas from 1987, and of the Revision Committee for the Ordination of Women to the Priesthood. He served on the Decade of Evangelism Steering Group and for five years was a member of the Executive of the Archbishops' initiative on Evangelism (Springboard). He was Prolocutor of the Convocation of Canterbury from 1990 to 1994 and Chairman of the General Synod's Committee for Minority Ethnic Anglican Concerns between 1990 and 1999. He is a member of the Commission on Urban Life and Faith.