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Sentamu will be good news

It’s been about two weeks since it was announced that John Sentamu will be the next Archbishop of York. With all the debate about the ACC and the sheer work involved in getting this blog up and running, I’ve not had a chance to comment before now. I must admit that his name was not one I had heard so it came as something of a surprise to me, albeit a pleasant one!

I had my money on John Gladwin (Chelmsford) although James Jones (Liverpool) seemed to have a lot of backing. Michael Nazir-Ali (Rochester) got mentioned as he always does! I even heard Graham Cray’s name (Maidstone) because of the whole Mission-shaped Church thing but I think that was serious evangelical wishful thinking on that one.

Personally I think this is a fantastic appointment and much kudos to those that made it. He will please the evangelicals who now have a good theological balance to Rowan and he will please the developing world, given his roots in Uganda. However, he’s also reasonably left-wing and doesn’t give a toss what people think of the things he says. I think that with him and Rowan leading us, the church will rediscover its voice at national level and begin to speak out again… and so they should.

Rowan’s recent attack on the deportation of Zimbabwean asylum seekers was spot on and, along with other voices, provoked a response from the UK Government. It’s great to see the politicians and our nation’s leaders being given an ‘ethical’ wake-up call again after apparently so long in which no-one seemed able to even dent their plans, let alone give them pause for thought. I have no doubt that Bishop John will be as big a thorn in their side once he is in post, if not bigger.

Well done CofE!

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