Category : Archbishop of York John Sentamu

(AM) Response to the Archbishops’ statement on the Decriminalisation of Homosexual Acts

We welcome the Archbishops’ reminder that the Church of England supported ending the criminalisation of homosexual behaviour among consenting adults, which is no more appropriate than criminalising adultery. We are also glad that they speak of homosexual people who want to follow Christ and are drawn by his love.

However, in calling people to him, Jesus speaks of his yoke and burden not ours. He refers to the yoke or challenge of living the kind of spiritual and moral life he expects. He promises that if we follow him he shares the burden and challenge to enable us to overcome those aspects of our lives that still need to conform to his pattern and teaching. He does not comfort and console us by accepting what is unacceptable to him.

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Posted in --Justin Welby, Anthropology, Archbishop of Canterbury, Archbishop of York John Sentamu, Church of England (CoE), Ethics / Moral Theology, History, Law & Legal Issues, Pastoral Theology, Religion & Culture, Theology: Scripture

Joint Statement by the Archbishop of Canterbury and the Archbishop of York

A statement on the 50th Anniversary of the Act of Parliament passed in 1967 which decriminalised homosexual acts in our Country

Today is the 50th Anniversary of the Act of Parliament passed in 1967 which decriminalised homosexual acts in our Country. The Church of England, led by Archbishop Ramsey, was supportive of the Sexual Offences Act.

In January 2016 the majority of the leading Archbishops of the whole global Anglican Communion – almost 80 million people in 165 countries – confirmed the longstanding view of the Communion that diminishing and criminalising homosexual people is wrong.

The Church, not just the Church of England, but all those who follow Jesus Christ and whose lives are committed to his worship and service, has very often been defined by what it is against. It has condemned many things, and continues to do so, very often correctly, for example when they involve the abuse of the poor, or the weak, or the marginalised.

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Posted in --Justin Welby, Anthropology, Archbishop of Canterbury, Archbishop of York John Sentamu, Church of England (CoE), History, Law & Legal Issues, Pastoral Theology, Sexuality, Theology

The Address by Archbishop of York at General Synod

On 20 January 2015, I launched this book, “On Rock or Sand? Firm Foundations for Britain’s Future”. Immediately, the book received two reactions. Those who hated it. And those who read it.

Two and a half years on, with a Referendum and an unexpected General Election behind us, the world may have moved on, but the key questions remain the same.

It is impossible to consider the kind of policies which should shape our future as a nation without first focussing on moral principles and virtues – and indeed the vision for our society – which undergird them. Recent political storms, and the tragic events of recent weeks, have caused many to pause and reflect. The Archbishop of Canterbury and I have asked that as a Synod we spend this next hour reflecting upon these things today. The Christian vision is of a world in which we are created for fellowship and mutual responsibility rather than for individualism and consumerism. A world in which the principal aim of policy is to enhance the well-being (that is, the personal and communal flourishing) of all in society.

As we now seek to reassess our relationships, in our local communities, in Europe, and internationally, our goal must always be the common good of all. At the outset, and with the presence of our beloved brothers from Finland and Germany in mind, I would add that this must involve a fresh commitment to building relations between European and British churches – at central and at local level – to lean against the tendency to pull apart which will get worse as negotiations go forward towards leaving the European Union.

We need to go on asking, what is it that well-being and flourishing looks like in our communities?

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Posted in Archbishop of York John Sentamu

(Church Times) Archbishops criticised for inviting proposer of Scottish same-sex marriage motion to General Synod this Weekend

A group of the General Synod’s laity and clergy have been placed in an “invidious” position, they say, by the “entirely wrong” invitation to the Bishop of Edinburgh, the Rt Revd John Armes, to the Synod’s York meeting this weekend. They argue that it looks like an endorsement of the Scottish Episcopal Church’s change to its canons to allow same-sex marriage in church.

Bishop Armes, who was invited by the Archbishops of Canterbury and York, was the proposer of the motion to amend the Scottish Episcopal Church’s Canon 31, on the solemnisation of holy matrimony, which was carried by the Scottish Synod last month (News, 8 June).

In a letter in this Friday’s Church Times, Susie Leafe (Truro) and 14 other members of the Houses of Laity and Clergy write that they are having to consider whether to “follow our consciences and withdraw”.

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Posted in --Justin Welby, Anthropology, Archbishop of York John Sentamu, Church of England (CoE), Ecclesiology, Ethics / Moral Theology, Pastoral Theology, Scottish Episcopal Church, Theology

Archbishop of York John Sentamu–Politics needs to find a place for religion

When Christians engage with politics their consciences are going to be bruised. They will be imbued with a vision of the Kingdom of God and at the same time will have to compromise, daily. It was Bismarck who first said “Politics is the art of the possible, the attainable – the art of the next best.” To achieve anything worthwhile will often require settling for less than one’s ideals.

Cynics, and I include some media interrogators among them, choose to ignore this painful compromise; they posit only the stark, unrealistic and inhuman alternatives of perfection or hypocrisy. In fact, the word “hypocrite” entered the English language via the New Testament, where it was used by Jesus to excoriate those who laid down the law for others, while pretending personally to be virtuous. They were “play-acting”. That’s what the word means in Greek. It has nothing to do with failure: applied Christianity is for people who recognise their moral inadequacy and daily look for divine help to deal with it.

The pre-election hounding of Tim Farron was not acceptable. In interview after interview we were given the impression that his private views on gay sex were in the forefront of the Lib-Dem campaign. His tormentors should be ashamed of themselves. It is much to be regretted that he has now concluded that a leading role in politics is incompatible with his Christian faith.

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

(AM) Essex churches pass motions of no confidence in “unbiblical leadership” of Archbishops of Canterbury and York

Two churches in Chelmsford Diocese have taken the unprecedented step of issuing public statements of no confidence in the Church of England leadership, following the Archbishop of Canterbury’s call for ‘radical inclusion’ at General Synod in February, and Bishop Stephen Cottrell’s call for thanksgiving prayers to be offered for same sex relationships in his Presidential Address to the Chelmsford Diocesan Synod.

The decision to publish the no confidence motions has been motivated by the Diocese provocatively hosting their June Synod at a church publicly supporting same sex marriage, and Archbishop Welby’s recent letter to Primates which does not mention the Scottish Episcopal Church’s departure from Christian orthodoxy but criticises Gafcon’s decision to appoint a faithful missionary Bishop.

Although two churches have gone public with their protest, Anglican Mainstream understands that several dozen clergy and a number of lay people in the Diocese have written to Bishop Stephen since February expressing deep concern about the direction of the C of E as evidenced by his statements.

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Posted in --Justin Welby, Anthropology, Archbishop of Canterbury, Archbishop of York John Sentamu, Ethics / Moral Theology, Pastoral Theology, Same-sex blessings, Sexuality Debate (in Anglican Communion), Theology

Next Bishop of Sheffield moves closer to taking up the role

Pete Wilcox took another step towards his installation as the Bishop of Sheffield at a special service held by the Archbishop of York on the evening of 5 June.

The service included representatives from the Diocese of Sheffield who saw the legal process of the ‘confirmation of election’ of the ‘Bishop-elect’. Following this, the Very Revd Wilcox is now legally the Bishop of Sheffield and has spiritual jurisdiction over the Diocese. It was also the moment when he took his oaths of allegiance and canonical obedience.

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

(Church Times) Thy Kingdom Come’s ‘wave of prayer’ goes global

Prayer has the power to carry all who are suffering alone towards “healing and renewal” in Christ, the Archbishop of Canterbury said on Thursday.

Archbishop Welby was speaking to Christian journalists about the “extraordinary” growth of the Pentecost prayer initiative, Thy Kingdom Come, at Lambeth Palace.

Hundreds of thousands of Christians of many denominations in 85 countries around the world are taking part in the second annual “great wave of prayer” during the ten days between Ascension Day, on Thursday of last week, and Pentecost on Sunday.

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Posted in --Justin Welby, Archbishop of Canterbury, Archbishop of York John Sentamu, Church of England, Globalization

The Thy Kingdom Come prayer reflection from Archbishop of York Dr John Sentamu

Posted in Archbishop of York John Sentamu, Church of England

(BBC) Hull Minster: Holy Trinity Church re-dedicated

Hull’s Holy Trinity Church has been re-dedicated as a minster by the Archbishop of York.

A flotilla of about 20 boats travelled down the Humber into Hull Marina ahead of the outdoor service, with Dr John Sentamu carrying a lantern lit at All Saints Church in Hessle.

The flame was then used to light the Hull Minster candle.

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

Alan Storkey: A Critique of the recent Anglican Archbishops’ Election Letter

The event which prompted this comment may have been Tim Farron’s failure to answer the question, obviously set to trap him, of whether homosexuality is a sin. Tim responded with Sunday School level answers in a failure, matched within the Church of England, to address gender and sexuality properly. Our failure should not be protected, and given the Gospels are full of Jesus responding to questions asked to trap him, Tim Farron needs to wise up a bit.

The letter then continues with general religious reflection and worry about “further secularisation in the public realm”. The problem is that talking about religions in general makes this contribution vague. There is a nod at “religiously motivated violence” and addressing it, and the refugee “conversation” is addressed by looking at the costs than some incur, and equally sharing them. But this highlights the mealy-mouthed responses. We are having a “conversation” about refugees while perhaps ten or twenty thousand come, while the German Christian Democrats, led by Angela Merkel, welcome a million, because they are suffering, homeless and obviously need help, and Christianity requires us not to pass by on the other side when people need help. That signals the depth of our actual British Christian failure.

National Values.
Then occurs a sentence which sums up the failure of this letter. “These deep virtues and practices – love, trust, and hope, cohesion, courage and stability – are not the preserve of any one political party or worldview, but go to the heart of who we are as a country in all its diversity.” It does not matter what your views are, in party terms, or in terms of worldview, we as a country in all its diversity practising these virtues can hang together. There are some problems with this. First, parties and people disagree about these and other virtues. Second, the rosy picture of national unity conveyed by the Conservative Party at this election, ignores the disunities within the UK, over Brexit and among many different groups who for good reasons do not have trust or hope. More deeply, this sentence conveys that national virtues are the basis of British society. This is not true for much of British politics. The UK pursued an illegal war on the basis of a lie in Iraq which has contributed to millions of lives being destabilised. The poor are being impoverished while the rich get richer. Health and care services are threatened. We are arming and selling arms on a large scale, and corruption is appearing in our banking and other sectors. This vague hope in national virtue will not do. More than this Britain’s Brexit exit raises the problem of British Nationalism, or more accurately English nationalism, the idea that we really do have to be separate from our European neighbours. The Archbishops’ letter mentions no other countries and seems to participate in this British fixation.

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Posted in --Justin Welby, Archbishop of Canterbury, Archbishop of York John Sentamu, Ethics / Moral Theology, Politics in General, Religion & Culture

(BBC Andrew Marr Show) John Sentamu on the dangers of questioning politicians too closely on their faith

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Posted in Archbishop of York John Sentamu, England / UK, Religion & Culture

(BBC) Archbishops of Canterbury and York voice election concerns

The Archbishops of Canterbury and York have raised concerns about housing, the NHS and poverty in a general election letter to Anglican churchgoers.

The three-page message urges voters to consider their Christian heritage and “obligations to future generations”.

It also calls on politicians to “renew and re-imagine” the UK’s shared values amid divisions of recent years.

There needs to be “serious solutions” to home-building and a “flourishing” health service, the letter says.

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Posted in * Economics, Politics, --Justin Welby, Archbishop of Canterbury, Archbishop of York John Sentamu, England / UK, Politics in General, Religion & Culture

(C of E) General Election 2017: Archbishops highlight the place of faith in British life

Faith has a central role to play in politics and this general election, the Archbishops of Canterbury and York say today.

In a pastoral letter to the parishes and chaplaincies of the Church of England, Archbishops Justin Welby and John Sentamu urge people to set aside “apathy and cynicism” and draw new inspiration from the ancient Christian virtues of “love, trust and hope”.

The three-page letter, intended to be shared in churches from this Sunday onward, encourages voters to remember Britain’s Christian history and heritage as well as a concern for future generations and God’s creation as they make their decisions.

Following divisions of recent years, it calls for reconciliation drawing on shared British values based on cohesion, courage and stability.

Read it all and make sure to read through the full letter which is linked at the end.

Posted in * Economics, Politics, --Justin Welby, Archbishop of Canterbury, Archbishop of York John Sentamu, Church of England (CoE), Pastoral Theology, Politics in General, Religion & Culture

The Archbishop of York’s 2017 Easter Message

There are no easy answers to the suffering in the world. I have plenty of questions for God when His Kingdom – a new heaven and a new earth – is completely realised. What I do know with all my heart, though, is that there’s a reason we call the Christian story: the Good News. There’s a reason I tell anyone who wants to hear why this Easter season is so life-changing. That reason is a person – Jesus Christ. God identifies with all our pain and suffering because his Son Jesus suffered the worst that humanity could throw at him on that first Good Friday. He suffered that unspeakable death on the cross so that each one of us might have the opportunity to know God intimately and live lives of true freedom and justice. As my friend and former Archbishop Rowan Williams writes: ‘..wherever you are, however lost you are, however much darkness there is around you, you have not gone beyond the reach of God.’

For me, what we remember about Jesus this Easter changed everything. His death on the cross and glorious resurrection gave to mankind a true and certain hope for the future. Not just a hope, but a promise. A promise that one day all will be well. As Revelation 21: 4 declares: “He will wipe every tear from their eyes. There will be no more death’ or mourning or crying or pain, for the old order of things has passed away.” I’m holding Jesus to that promise. It’s the only hope that I have.

There’s a beautiful scene at the end of the latest live action Disney blockbuster, Beauty and the Beast. As the curse is lifted on the beast and he is turned back into a prince, his palace is slowly bathed in a new and wonderful sunlight. Friends and family are reunited. That which has been broken is fixed. It’s a picture of resurrection and for me, what the Kingdom of Heaven will be like. It reminds me that one day all will be well. All will be restored by the God who loves us.

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Posted in Archbishop of York John Sentamu, Easter