Category : Archbishop of York John Sentamu

A statement from the Archbishops of Canterbury and York in response to events in the United States of America

From there:

“Recent events in the United States of America have once again drawn public attention to the ongoing evil of white supremacy. Systemic racism continues to cause incalculable harm across the world. Our hearts weep for the suffering caused – for those who have lost their lives, those who have experienced persecution, those who live in fear. God’s justice and love for all creation demands that this evil is properly confronted and tackled. Let us be clear: racism is an affront to God. It is born out of ignorance, and must be eradicated. We all bear the responsibility and must play our part to eliminate this scourge on humanity.

“As Dr Martin Luther King Jr said, ‘In a real sense, we are all caught in an inescapable network of mutuality, tied in a single garment of destiny. Therefore, injustice anywhere is a threat to justice everywhere.’

“We pray that God’s abounding wisdom, compassion and love will guide leaders across the world to forge a better society.”

Posted in --Justin Welby, America/U.S.A., Archbishop of Canterbury, Archbishop of York John Sentamu, Church of England (CoE), England / UK, Ethics / Moral Theology, Law & Legal Issues, Police/Fire, Race/Race Relations, Religion & Culture, Urban/City Life and Issues, Violence

Archbp John Sentamu: Carers who risk their lives need funding, not applause

“I feel like a Roman gladiator in the ring, clapped by cheering crowds as I risk death.” These words from a brave care worker stopped me in my tracks. I heard them through my work with the Living Wage Foundation. This person, who asked to remain anonymous, does vital work on a zero-hours contract, paid just £8.72 an hour. The clapping on a Thursday is a kind gesture – but it won’t pay the rent.

The fate of the country is in the hands of people like this brave care worker. It is just morally wrong for them to face infection and potential death and to do it for poverty pay. Almost half of all care workers are earning below the foundation’s Real Living Wage.

For me this is simply unacceptable. And while so many of us across the country take to our doorsteps every Thursday at 8pm to clap for carers and other key workers, this week my prayer is that we begin to show real compassion and protect our key workers – whether British, European or even former refugees – who are the most at-risk group when it comes to catching Covid-19.

They are literally risking their lives for us, day in, day out, and they do it for a wage that means they struggle to stay afloat financially.

Read it all.

Posted in Anthropology, Archbishop of York John Sentamu, Corporations/Corporate Life, Ethics / Moral Theology, Health & Medicine, Labor/Labor Unions/Labor Market, Personal Finance, Religion & Culture

(Unherd) Giles Fraser–Let priests pray in their churches

…[Today] the bishops of the Church of England will meet to consider the growing opposition to their policy of banning clergy from saying prayers in their churches.

To recap: on 24 March the Archbishops of Canterbury and York wrote to the clergy of the Church of England with the following instruction: “Our church buildings must now be closed not only for public worship, but for private prayer as well and this includes the priest or lay person offering prayer in church on their own.”

The guidance of the government makes it specifically clear that clergy are allowed into their churches on their own to pray and to broadcast prayer. And the Roman Catholics and other churches continue to do so. But the C of E has banned its clergy from doing this, in some Dioceses with the threat of disciplinary action hanging over those who do.

The deep unhappiness about this continues to grow. Today a letter was sent to The Times signed by hundreds of clergy and lay people complaining about the current restrictions. And as the resistance grows so too does the counter-resistance — with arguments from those defending the official line appearing all over social media.

Read it all.

Posted in --Justin Welby, Archbishop of Canterbury, Archbishop of York John Sentamu, Church of England (CoE), CoE Bishops, Ecclesiology, Ethics / Moral Theology, Health & Medicine, Liturgy, Music, Worship, Parish Ministry, Pastoral Theology, Religion & Culture, Spirituality/Prayer, Theology

The Latest letter from the Archbishops to the Church of England on the Coronavirus Situation

Dear Sisters and Brothers in Christ,

Stay home, protect the NHS and save lives

We are writing further to you given the rapidly changing nature of the situation in our country at present. We want to thank you for the ministry you are exercising and for the creative and imaginative ways in which you are responding to the crisis and showing the love and care of Christ to the communities we serve, particularly to the most vulnerable in our society.

As we move towards Passiontide, focussing on what Jesus did for us on the cross, more than ever this is brought into stark focus. We want to reiterate the advice we have already sent. The government is asking us to stay at home, protect the NHS and save lives. We call upon all our churches and church leaders, clergy and lay, to follow this advice.

Read it all.

Posted in --Justin Welby, Archbishop of Canterbury, Archbishop of York John Sentamu, England / UK, Health & Medicine, Liturgy, Music, Worship, Parish Ministry, Politics in General

Latest letter from C of E’s Archbishops on how to Proceed given the pandemic and the Government’s instructions

Following the Prime Minister’s announcement last night, it is imperative that for the health of the nation and in order for the National Health Service itself to manage the increase in those
requiring medical help, the Church of England strictly observes the new guidelines on staying at home and only making journeys that are absolutely necessary, such as shopping for essential
items and to take daily exercise.

Our church buildings must now be closed not only for public worship, but for private prayer as well and this includes the priest or lay person offering prayer in church on their own. A notice
explaining this should be put on the church door (please find template attached). We must take a lead in showing our communities how we must behave in order to slow down the spread of
the Coronavirus.

Read it all.

Posted in --Justin Welby, Archbishop of Canterbury, Archbishop of York John Sentamu, Church of England (CoE), England / UK, Health & Medicine, Parish Ministry, Religion & Culture

Coronavirus: Archbishops call for national day of prayer and action

We are good in this country at holding our nerve and steadying one another. But a pandemic is something else; you can’t touch the virus, see it or even know where it is. It may be spread by those who don’t even know they are infected. It is very serious for some, very mild for many. Nevertheless, the effect of the virus could drive us apart. To some extent it must do.

When someone we care for has it they must be isolated. That is particularly so for older people and the most vulnerable, the ones by whose bed we want to sit, and hold their hand, express our love with touch. As in epidemics throughout history the effects of this fear disturb us very deeply, and dread comes upon us.

The answer to conquering this fear is love that we receive. The tears of the child wakened by a bad dream are stilled by the embrace of someone who loves them. The uncertainty of someone of great age is often quietened with a familiar voice. The words of a friend can enable us to challenge the fears of illness to reduce our sense of threat. The UK has a culture of caring, expressed through the NHS, in Social Care, and in many other ways.

All of us, now, face a common threat, COVID-19. The question is, how do we find hope in these difficult circumstances? Hope comes both from what we can do and who we are.

Read it all.

Posted in --Justin Welby, Archbishop of Canterbury, Archbishop of York John Sentamu, Church of England, Spirituality/Prayer

Archbishops call for Church of England to become radically different as public worship put on hold to help stem spread of coronavirus

The Archbishops of Canterbury and York are calling for Church of England churches to put public worship on hold and become a “different sort of church” in the coming months to face the challenge of coronavirus.

In a joint letter, Archbishops Justin Welby and John Sentamu said it was now necessary to put public services on hold until further notice.

But they said that far from having to “shut up shop”, the Church of England must face the challenge by becoming a radically different kind of church rooted in prayer and serving others.

It comes after the Government announced unprecedented peacetime measures to try to control the spread of the virus, with restrictions on public gatherings, transport and working.

The Archbishops expressed the desire that church buildings may, where practical, remain open as places of prayer for the community, observing social distancing recommendations.

Read it all.

Posted in --Justin Welby, Archbishop of Canterbury, Archbishop of York John Sentamu, Church of England (CoE), Health & Medicine

(CEN) Archbishop of York returns from Pacific tour

The Archbishop of York concluded a three-week visit to Fiji, Samoa and New Zealand by preaching at a joint Anglican and Roman Catholic Ash Wednesday service at the Roman Catholic Cathedral in Christchurch, New Zealand.

Invited by the Anglican Church in Aotearoa, New Zealand and Polynesia, the Archbishop began his visit in Fiji, where he met with Archbishop Fereimi Cama and the country’s President Jioji Konrote.

He spent time with clergy, preached at a Eucharist service at Holy Trinity Cathedral in Suva and visited St Christopher’s orphanage in Nakasi where he was able to meet the staff and children who live there.

On his return to the UK, the Archbishop of York, Dr John Sentamu said, “I last visited Fiji, Samoa and New Zealand in 2015 and it was wonderful to return and see familiar faces as well as new ones. Meeting people who have a heart for their communities and a desire to promote the common good and work together in this was truly heartwarming.

“My prayer for The Anglican Church in Aotearoa, New Zealand and Polynesia is that they will be confident in the message that they have to share about our Creator God who loves us and wants us to know him more through his Son Jesus Christ in the power of the Holy Spirit. Every Blessing,” he added.

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Posted in Archbishop of York John Sentamu, Church of England (CoE)

The Archbishop of York appoints a new Archdeacon of Cleveland

The Archbishop of York Dr John Sentamu has today announced the appointment of The Revd Dr Amanda Bloor as the new Archdeacon of Cleveland.

Amanda is currently Priest in Charge of Holy Trinity Bembridge on the Isle of Wight and Assistant Diocesan Director of Ordinands in the Diocese of Portsmouth. Ordained in 2004, she has previously served as Chaplain and Diocesan Advisor in Women’s Ministry to the Bishop of Oxford, and as Area Director of Ordinands for Berkshire. She undertook Doctoral research in Clergy Wellbeing and has a keen interest in the flourishing of those engaged in ministry. She is also a Chaplain to the Army Cadet Force. Amanda is married to Mark and has two grown-up daughters.

Archbishop Sentamu said: “I very much look forward to welcoming Amanda to the Diocese of York and especially to her new ministry in the Archdeaconry of Cleveland. As well as her experience in a bishop’s team, her research on clergy wellbeing stands her in good stead to support everyone whose work and calling is to serve others in Jesus’ name.”

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Posted in Archbishop of York John Sentamu, Archbishop of York Stephen Cottrell, Church of England, Ministry of the Ordained, Parish Ministry

The Archbishop of Canterbury pays tribute to the Archbishop of York at what would have been the latter’s final General Synod

Archbishop Justin Welby praised the Archbishop of York who is currently travelling in the Pacific. He said: “He (John Sentamu) has gone to visit parts of the world which are suffering the effects of climate change right now. He has gone typically to respond to an invitation for him to go and preach and be alongside those who are suffering: a pattern of his life throughout his ministry.”

The Archbishop continued: “Speaking about Sentamu when he’s not here is both dangerous but also deeply liberating for it means we can show our gratitude, thanks and love for him without him being able to stop us.”

Recalling the Archbishop of York’s work on the Stephen Lawrence Inquiry, Archbishop Justin added that “he has said that he himself was stopped at least eight times by the police”. The Archbishop of Canterbury continued: “To honour his memory, his lifelong, bitter cruel and wicked experience of institutional racism which has existed and does exist within the Church of England we must be dedicated to actions not just words.”

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Posted in --Justin Welby, Archbishop of Canterbury, Archbishop of York John Sentamu, Church of England (CoE)

Statement from Archbishop Justin and Archbishop Sentamu following the College of Bishops Meeting

From here:

We as Archbishops, alongside the bishops of the Church of England, apologise and take responsibility for releasing a statement last week which we acknowledge has jeopardised trust. We are very sorry and recognise the division and hurt this has caused.

At our meeting of the College of Bishops of the Church of England this week we continued our commitment to the Living in Love and Faith project which is about questions of human identity, sexuality and marriage. This process is intended to help us all to build bridges that will enable the difficult conversations that are necessary as, together, we discern the way forward for the Church of England.

Posted in --Justin Welby, Archbishop of Canterbury, Archbishop of York John Sentamu, Church of England (CoE), CoE Bishops, Marriage & Family, Sexuality

The Archbishop of York awarded honorary Doctorate of Divinity by Durham University

Durham University’s Vice-Chancellor, Professor Stuart Corbridge said: “We are delighted to award an honorary degree to the Archbishop of York, who so clearly shares our passion for empowering young people and preparing students to transition successfully to the next stage of their lives.

“We take our responsibilities as a centre for learning seriously and, like the Archbishop, we strive to create the opportunities, support and freedom for students to become the best they can, so they can go on to do inspiring and innovative things around the world.

Awarding the honorary degree strengthens the existing relationship between Durham University and the Church of England. A recently renewed partnership sees the University continue in its role as the single validating partner for the Church of England’s ordination training. The scheme, known as the Common Awards, is overseen by a dedicated team from the Department of Theology and Religion at Durham University.

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Posted in Archbishop of York John Sentamu, Church of England (CoE), Education, England / UK, Religion & Culture

(Christian Today) Matt Kennedy–The Church of England is in trouble

In England, his name is Stephen Cottrell presently Bishop of Chelmsford soon to be Archbishop of York. In an article on his upcoming elevation, the Church Times reports,

“Bishop Cottrell has also warned that the Church’s stance on same-sex relationships means that it is ‘seen as immoral by the culture in which it is set’ and has suggested that prayers of thanksgiving for these relationships — ‘perhaps a eucharist’ — should be offered. In a diocesan-synod address in 2017, he warned of the ‘missiological damage that is done when that which is held to be morally normative and desirable by much of society, and by what seems to be a significant number of Anglican Christian people in this country, is deemed morally unacceptable by the Church…And, though I am proud to confirm that all of us, whatever our views on this matter, are united in our condemnation of homophobia, we must also acknowledge that it is of little comfort to young gay or lesbian members of our Church to know that while prejudice against them is abhorred, any committed faithful sexual expression of their love for another is forbidden. . . Our ambivalence and opposition to faithful and permanent same-sex relationships can legitimise homophobia in others.”

The Christian Institute expands on the partial quote above as follows, “I am not sure the church has ever before had to face the challenge of being seen as immoral by the culture in which it is set.”

These are astounding words. That one so educated, soon to be so elevated, so highly respected could evince such ignorance so publicly without embarrassment is, well, I am not sure what to call it. On the one hand, he is, of course, worthy of censure. But on the other, that his words are published so widely and he is still embraced so warmly without any apparent sense that something is amiss, what does it mean? Is the indictment more damning to him or to the ecclesial prelates or to the Church of England as a whole?

Has the Bishop taken even a semester’s study in church history? Does he know that Christians have been called haters of mankind, cannibals, atheists even because from the first the Christian Church has refused to bow to the idols of the age? What would Bishop Cottrell say to the Ugandan martyrs who refused to let themselves be sexually corrupted by a homosexual ruler for the sake of Christ? Were these children missiologically obtuse? Ought they to have embraced the “normative and desirable morality” of the king and his court?

Men and women and children have been devoured by wild beasts, burned alive, beheaded, and crucified precisely because they refused to adopt the morality of the age and yet it is by the blood of these martyrs, not by the supine compromise of English clerics, that Christ builds his Church.

And we need not even look to the history of the Church. Has Bishop Cottrell read even a single Gospel? Does he know that Jesus was crucified? Was Jesus crucified because he was “seen as moral by the culture in which he was set”? Was he arrested and tried because he embraced what was “morally normative and desirable”? Not at all. Jesus scrutinized the traditions and laws of the day by the law of God and found them wanting. He refused to submit himself or his disciples to the sabbath regulations, the washings, the dietary restrictions imposed by men and not God. And his “community” hated him for it. He has a demon, they said. His miracles are empowered by Satan, they said. Jesus was not crucified because the people loved him and he affirmed all of their ways.

Read it all.

Posted in - Anglican: Analysis, Archbishop of York Stephen Cottrell, Church of England (CoE)

(Sunday (London] Times) Archbp John Sentamu–To heal a divided nation, we must devolve power

It would be unfair of me to quote Professor Richard Dawkins in support of my beliefs, but he recently voiced a fear that if religion were abolished it would “give people a licence to do really bad things”. Saying that security camera surveillance of customers appeared to deter shoplifting, he thought people might feel free to do wrong without a “divine spy camera in the sky reading their every thought”. Of course, he didn’t warm to the idea and nor do I. God isn’t a cosmic CCTV operator, surrounded by banks of screens which record our sins.

But God does hold us accountable. It’s put concisely in the New Testament: “For we must all appear before the judgment seat of Christ, so that each of us may receive what is due us for the things done while in the body, whether good or bad.”[3] There’s an unspoken view that this will apply only to subscribers, as though the formula, “But I don’t believe” will earn immunity at the Last Judgment.

Perhaps we in the Church became too complacent when the majority in this country claimed to be at least nominally Christian. We had forgotten that each generation needed to be converted afresh.

The commemoration of Christmas reintroduces each of us – believer and non-believer – to the astonishing picture of a powerless baby as the closest representation of the Almighty Creator that human beings could bear to contemplate.

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Posted in Archbishop of York John Sentamu

(Church Times) Greater diversity in leadership, and the beauty of holiness: Bishop Cottrell sets out his hopes as Archbishop of York

A member of the Committee for Minority-Ethnic Anglican Concerns (CMEAC), Bishop Cottrell has previously warned that the Church was “going backwards” on ethnic diversity in its leadership (News, 17 July 2015). “There is still racism in our Church,” he told General Synod. “It is high time we woke out of our sleep and realised we are guilty of complacency and neglect.”

On Tuesday, he said: “Our record is not good: there is no point in pretending otherwise.” He dared to hope that, “when I do hang up my mitre . . . the Church will look different.” The Bishops enjoyed a “significant power” in making appointments, he observed. “We need to use it much more generously and wisely, to bring more people round the table. . . We will be a much better stronger Church for being more diverse in leadership.”

Bishop Cottrell has also warned that the Church’s stance on same-sex relationships means that it is “seen as immoral by the culture in which it is set” and has suggested that prayers of thanksgiving for these relationships — “perhaps a eucharist” — should be offered (News, 17 March 2017).

In a diocesan-synod address in 2017, he warned of the “missiological damage that is done when that which is held to be morally normative and desirable by much of society, and by what seems to be a significant number of Anglican Christian people in this country, is deemed morally unacceptable by the Church. . .

Read it all (registration).

Posted in Archbishop of York Stephen Cottrell, Church of England (CoE)

(C of E) Statement on the Archbishop of York designate, the Right Reverend Stephen Cottrell

From there:

“With reference to the recent statement from a pressure group, the accusations made against the Right Reverend Stephen Cottrell are entirely without foundation. It is untrue that Bishop Stephen suggested to a governor of a Church of England School that his views on sexuality were not welcome and he could leave. Bishop Stephen made that clear at the time and subsequently in an Ad Clerum. It is also untrue that Bishop Stephen suggested to any other clergy that they should leave the Church of England. As he is said at his announcement, the Church of England is a Church for all people, welcoming everyone.

“He upholds the teaching of the Church of England that recognises marriage as being between one man and one woman.

“Bishop Stephen has not endorsed gender transitioning in and of itself for children but has pastoral concern for any child affected by gender dysphoria.

“He holds biblical truth as sacred and is in all matters guided by the gospel. Speaking at the press conference for his announcement he said ‘What binds us together is not our views on this issue or that issue, what binds us together is our faith in Jesus Christ. We say water is thicker than blood. It is our baptism and our belonging to each other that really matters’.”

Posted in Archbishop of York Stephen Cottrell, Church of England (CoE), Theology

(Christian Today) C of E groups express opposition to the theology of the newly appointed Archbishop of York

[The] Rev John Parker resigned as both a governor of the school and as a vicar in the Church of England over the disagreement.

He said at the time: “I was basically told by my bishop that if I wished to faithfully follow the teachings of the Bible then I was no longer welcome in the Church. It felt very much like I was being silenced by the Church and the school.”

Kieran Bush, vicar of St John’s, Walthamstow, later backed Rev Parker’s claim, alleging that Bishop Cottrell had “on more than one occasion, told clergy, including John Parker, that if we disagree with the approach the Diocese is taking on matters of human sexuality we should follow our consciences and leave”.

“There were more than thirty clergy at one of the meetings,” he said in a statement in June released through GAFCON, the orthodox fellowship within the Anglican Communion.

Rev Parker was supported during the dispute by Christian Concern, which has criticised the appointment of Bishop Cottrell as Archbishop of York.

Read it all.

Posted in Anthropology, Archbishop of York Stephen Cottrell, Church of England (CoE), Ethics / Moral Theology, Marriage & Family, Theology, Theology: Scripture

A York Press Profile on Bishop Stephen Cottrell, the man named as next Archbishop of York

…it had been widely anticipated that, once Dr Sentamu retired next June, England’s first black Archbishop might be replaced by England’s first woman Archbishop.

Not so. Stephen Cottrell, the person unveiled yesterday to step into Dr Sentamu’s shoes as the new Archbishop of York, is white, male (obviously) and middle aged (he’s 61).

A missed opportunity? A case of the Church of England bottling it once more on the issue of women in the highest offices?

Not necessarily. Because Bishop Cottrell is very far from being the kind of wealthy, public school-educated Establishment figure that filled the higher ranks of the church for so long.

In fact, he’s a Spurs-loving Essex boy who went to a secondary modern school and studied not at Oxford but at poly – the Polytechnic of Central London, in fact.

And while he undoubtedly comes from the ‘high church’ wing of the CofE (he is ‘Bishop Protector for the Society of St Francis’, an order of Anglican Franciscans very much at the ‘Catholic’ end of the CofE spectrum) he is also unashamedly liberal – and outspoken – on everything from homophobia to the church’s attitude to race.

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Posted in Archbishop of York Stephen Cottrell

Bishop Stephen Cottrell to be the next Archbishop of York

Posted in Archbishop of York Stephen Cottrell, Church of England (CoE)

(Guardian) Archbp John Sentamu–It’s time to act against the oil companies causing death and destruction

The legal system in Nigeria is cumbersome, costly and inefficient. Victims are rarely able to afford the means to justice and redress. While governments must accept a share of responsibility for this catastrophe, the onus lies largely with the multinational oil companies that dominate the scene. They drill and export the oil and gas. They own the inadequate and poorly maintained and poorly guarded infrastructure that have allowed oil spills and other forms of pollution to become systemic for people in Bayelsa.

All too often they do not respect their fundamental human rights and are getting away with a pollution footprint with global consequences, including climate change. Yet those who bear the immediate cost are the people of Bayelsa, where human life appears to be disposable in the pursuit of wealth.

Repentance, reparation and remedy for damage done for decades is long overdue. Too many people treat distant parts of the world like giant rubbish dumps. If you or I behaved like that in our locality, albeit on an infinitely smaller scale, we would be rightly prosecuted for fly-tipping.

We are all temporary tenants on this planet and will be held accountable for its management. Future generations will look at the state of their inheritance and will want to know who in the past benefited from its irresponsible exploitation and who paid the price for it. If there is still an opportunity for the present generation to make amends, we had better get on with it with the utmost urgency.

Read it all.

Posted in Archbishop of York John Sentamu, Church of England (CoE), Corporations/Corporate Life, Ecology, Energy, Natural Resources, Ethics / Moral Theology, Nigeria, Religion & Culture

Archbishop Sentamu’s sermon at the Consecration of Rose Hudson-Wilkin as Bishop of Dover and Olivia Graham as Bishop of Reading

St Hild was an outstanding figure in the early English Church. She was a bringer of light. She and her monastic female and male companions contributed directly and indirectly to the conversion of England. St Bede’s account of Whitby Monastery under her, reveals Hild as the first great English female saint.

Through Hild’s faith and Rule of Life in teaching and example, Whitby monastery became a centre for the conversion of the laity – bringing salvation to many living at a distance – such as the Monastery’s famous son, Caedmon, a servant labourer on the monastic estate. Hild’s prophetic foresight recognised the potential of Caedmon’s poetic and musical gifts, gifts she fostered when she called him to join her monastery.

She taught Caedmon Holy Scripture inspiring him to compose the first Christian poem in vernacular as well as turning sacred scripture into song. Thus the earliest vernacular expressions of Christian devotion came out of Whitby.

According to St Bede, Whitby Monastery during the lifetime of Hild was “the pre-eminent centre of learning in Anglo-Saxon England and made a unique contribution to the Church at a time when its fortunes were at their nadir, particularly as the priests and bishops it trained were in desperately short supply”.

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Posted in Archbishop of York John Sentamu, Church of England (CoE), CoE Bishops, Preaching / Homiletics

Time to ‘leave our echo chambers’ and listen to others, say Archbishops of Canterbury+York in General Election message

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Posted in --Justin Welby, Archbishop of York John Sentamu, Politics in General

(Yorkshire Post) Archbishop of York Dr John Sentamu on faith, Advent and his love for the people of Yorkshire

Today, he’s sitting in the Drawing Room at Bishopthorpe Palace, the Archbishop of York’s official residence, to discuss his new book – Wake Up to Advent! It’s the first time he’s written his own Advent book having endorsed others previously. “I reached the stage where I said ‘this is going to be my last advent’ (as archbishop) and thought it’s high time I put pen to paper,” he says.

The book is characterised by readings and personal stories from his own remarkable life. “Whether someone is a churchgoer or not I hope there is still a message that they need to wake up to the world as we’ve got it. There’s a lot of mess, not only in the world but in our own lives, and there’s a possibility to feed on things that will help us to be truly human. We need to grow our friendships and relationships and our inter-dependence, so the message of the book I hope is for everybody.”

And Dr Sentamu believes this message still has relevance in the modern world. “When we see tragedies happening all over the world the first thing people do, particularly in this country, is go to church and light a candle. And I love that statement that it is better to light a candle than to curse the darkness.”

For the archbishop, the chief role of religion is to be “a signpost to the love of God”. “If you saw every person as your brother or your sister you would treat them very differently. It’s treating people as totally different that causes all the trouble we bring into our world.”

Read it all.

Posted in Archbishop of York John Sentamu, Church of England (CoE), England / UK, Religion & Culture

(York Press) Archbp John Sentamu to lead delegation to London in October to Lobby for One Yorkshire

John Grogan, Co-Chairman of the One Yorkshire Committee, has issued a statement along with his fellow co-chairman Lord Kirkhope of Harrogate, stressing the need for devolution.

In the statement they reveal that the Archbishop, Dr John Sentamu, will lead a delegation to London in October to lobby for One Yorkshire.

It says: “The One Yorkshire Committee has been created to campaign for the One Yorkshire Devolution Agreement proposed by council leaders of all parties from across the county. This would involve the election of a Mayor for Yorkshire supported by a cabinet of council leaders. The committee brings together business, trade union, academic and political leaders and has now met seven times. The committee has received a grant of £32,500 from the Joseph Rowntree Reform Trust Ltd to support its work and is launching a website today.

“The lack of progress on devolution is hurting the people of Yorkshire. The economic case presented to ministers shows that One Yorkshire devolution would result in a £30 billion boost to our economy – up to £5,400 extra growth per person, per year in the Yorkshire economy.

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Posted in Archbishop of York John Sentamu, Church of England (CoE), England / UK, Ethics / Moral Theology, Politics in General, Religion & Culture

Stephen Noll–Archbishop Sentamu on Interpreting the Bible–Moral Equivalence and Moral Equivocation

The Bible’s teaching on sexuality is not a matter of “six scattered verses”; rather, it is a golden cord beginning in Genesis – God’s creation of male and female in His image, in His ordaining holy matrimony in two sexes-one flesh of husband and wife, in His hedging in sex from temptations to pagan idolatry and fornication, in Jesus’ reaffirming the original aim of exclusive faithfulness of husband and wife, in Paul’s warning against all forms of “fornication” and likening the relations of husband and wife to that of Christ and the Church, and in the Wedding Supper of the Lamb. Oh, and by the way, all this teaching is ably summarized in the Preface to the marriage service in the Book of Common Prayer.

But on the other hand, take the Very Rev’d Professor Martyn Percy, Dean of Christ Church Oxford. Two months ago he wrote: “Does the Bible… Really Give Us a Clear Definition of Marriage?” I am not going to attempt a point by point refutation of Percy’s arguments, as Martin Davie and Ian Paul have already done so. Professor Percy’s odd method of moral equivalence involves setting up straw men and shooting at them. On the one hand, there are the “fundamentalists” for whom Scripture was faxed down from heaven. For them

“the bible is the pure word of God – every letter and syllable is ‘God breathed.” So there is no room for questions; knowledge replaces faith. It is utterly authoritative: to question the bible is tantamount to questioning God. So the bible here is more like an instruction manual than a mystery to be unpacked. It teaches plainly, and woe to those who dissent.

On the other hand, there are the enlightened:

On the question of same-sex marriage, we may need reminding of one thing. God did not send us a fax. Instead, God chose to speak through Jesus – the body language of God – to remind us that God is ultimate love, and that those who live in love live in God, and God lives in them. Sex raises some interesting questions, for sure. But so far as God is concerned, love is always the answer.

So there you have it, the mediated word descending from the spires of Oxford: each marriage is unique, and love is always the answer. I recall another Oxford don who distinguished the different forms of love and wrote this about sex: “There is no getting away from it; the Christian rule is, ‘Either marriage with complete faithfulness to your partner, or abstinence’” (C.S. Lewis, The Four Loves and Mere Christianity).

Now Archbishop Sentamu does not endorse Professor Percy’s conclusion about same-sex marriage nor his reading of the Bible, but he does suggest that since Percy is baptized and reads the Bible, his view is morally equivalent to the plain and historic understanding of the church.

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Posted in - Anglican: Analysis, Archbishop of York John Sentamu, Theology: Scripture

The Archbishop of York’s Presidential Address to General Synod July 2019

In his address to this General Synod in November 2010, the then Archbishop of Canterbury, Dr Rowan Williams asked this question:

How can people who read the same Bible and share the same baptism come to strongly diverse conclusions about human sexuality?

Having discussed the issue of the ordination of women, he turns to the issue of same-sex unions:

The other issue, still bitterly divisive in the Communion, is that of our approach to same-sex unions. It is inevitable that, whether in open debate or in general discussion, this will be around during the lifetime of this Synod. I shall make only a brief comment here, having said a fair amount on the subject this time last year and in other settings. And it is that this has become a cardinal example of how we avoid theological debate. The need for some thoughtful engagement that will help us understand how people who read the same Bible and share the same baptism can come to strongly diverse conclusions is getting more urgent, because I sense that in the last few years the debate on sexuality has not really moved much. It is unthinkingly treated by some as almost the sole test of biblical fidelity or doctrinal orthodoxy; it is unthinkingly regarded by others as one of those matters on which the Church must be brought inexorably into line with what our culture can make sense of. Neither side always has the opportunity of clarifying how they see the focal theological issues – how one or the other position relates to our belief in a divine Saviour. And if we are not to be purely tribal about this, we need the chance for some sort of discussion that is not dominated by the need to make an instant decision or to react to developments and pressures elsewhere. [1]

Nine years later there has been little, if any, progress in answering it. In this Presidential Address I will offer some pointers towards an answer to Dr Rowan Williams’ question.

It has been said rightly that the church often has to wrestle painfully with issues that public opinion is prepared not to wrestle with, because public opinion can jump from one conviction to the opposite, and back again, without caring very much about consistency or fairness. Our disagreements can be a positive test of our faith – an opportunity to model difficult discussions that ought to be going on everywhere, but are not. But we cannot do that, if we cannot draw on the resources of faith, God’s word and God’s work.

The kind of disagreement we have is exactly the kind of disagreement one would expect to find in a church where the old habits of reading the Bible consistently and thoroughly, as part of a liturgical pattern or a pattern of private devotion, had broken down. The expectations we have of Biblical literacy – not only of laity but of clergy too – would strike most earlier generations of Christians as sadly low.

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Posted in Anthropology, Archbishop of York John Sentamu, Church of England (CoE), Ethics / Moral Theology, Pastoral Theology, Theology, Theology: Scripture

Archbishops of Canterbury and York ask cathedrals and churches to toll bells Tomorrow for Notre Dame

From there:

The Archbishops of Canterbury and York are today encouraging, where possible, all cathedrals and churches across England to toll a bell for 7 minutes at 7pm this Thursday, as a mark of solidarity following the devastating fire at Notre Dame Cathedral. This initiative has been suggested by the British Ambassador to France, Edward Llewellyn, and it is hoped that many will take part.

Posted in --Justin Welby, Archbishop of Canterbury, Archbishop of York John Sentamu, Church of England (CoE), France, Liturgy, Music, Worship, Parish Ministry, Police/Fire

Highways England give £3.9m grant to make Hull Minster a hub for city’s history, heritage and community

A £3.9m grant to complete the transformation of Hull Minster into a hub for the city’s history, heritage and community has been announced today following funding from Highways England.

The investment comes from a dedicated fund which is designed to protect historic features in areas near to major roads, helping them to be harmonious with their surroundings. The Highways England Environment Designated Fund will safeguard the Minster’s heritage for future generations and create a sustainable future for the church as a magnificent place of worship, focal point for the community and magnet for visitors.

With work set to start this Spring, the majestic Minster can now be restored, renovated and extended to fulfil its rich potential. The grant is linked to the proposed A63 Castle Street scheme, which passes just 100 metres from the church. This major project is designed to improve access between the Port of Hull and the national road network via the city centre.

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Posted in Archbishop of York John Sentamu, Church of England (CoE), Parish Ministry, Urban/City Life and Issues

(Guardian) A Letter to the Editor from Archbp John Setamu and others–‘Double standards on oil spills in Nigeria must end’

The devastating impact of oil spills is widely recognised. The past decade has witnessed the destruction caused to human life and the environment from spills including the Deepwater Horizon spill in the Gulf of Mexico in 2010 and the Montara spill in Australia in 2009.

On each occasion the global community has reacted with horror, demanding the oil industry clean up local ecosystems and communities. Yet in Nigeria, and particularly in Bayelsa state in the Niger Delta, these calls are ignored.

Oil spills are a persistent feature of life in Bayelsa. While 4m litres of oil are spilled annually in the US, 40m litres are spilled in the Niger Delta.

Oil has poisoned the land and water. The contamination of fish and crops has destroyed livelihoods, decimated local employment opportunities and pushed many into militancy. Life expectancy in the Niger Delta is 10 years below the national average.

Multinational oil companies operate to severe double standards. While efforts are made to clean up spills in the US, Scotland or Norway, oil is left to flow unabated in Nigeria.

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Posted in Archbishop of York John Sentamu, Ecology, Energy, Natural Resources, Ethics / Moral Theology, Nigeria, Religion & Culture

The former Archbishop of York, John Habgood, dies

Posted in Archbishop of York John Sentamu, Church of England (CoE), Death / Burial / Funerals