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Dr Sentamu treated for prostate cancer

31 May 2013


THE Archbishop of York, Dr Sentamu, announced on Thursday that he had been treated for a locally advanced form of prostate cancer, and would be "out of action for some time".

Dr Sentamu underwent an operation on Thursday at St James's Hospital, Leeds. In a statement issued the same day, Dr Sentamu thanked the hospital's surgical team and nursing staff for the care he had received.

He continued: "I will be out of action for some time, and will continue to value your prayers. I look forward to resuming my ministry as soon as possible."

A decision about whether Dr Sentamu's diocesan responsibilities would need to be undertaken by the Bishop of Hull, the Rt Revd Richard Frith, had not been taken at this stage. It was hoped, however, that the Archbishop would return to his ministries as soon as he is well enough to do so. It is unclear whether Dr Sentamu would be recovered in time for General Synod in York in July, but it is understood that he is keen to attend.

Dr Sentamu's statement went on: "As I have often said, during the most trying times, I have derived great comfort from the words of the Taizé chant, 'Aber du weißt den Weg für mich', adapted from a passage in Letters and Papers from Dietrich Bonhoeffer. . .:

'God, gather and turn my thoughts to you. With you there is light, you do not forget me. With you there is hope and patience. I don't understand your ways, but you know the way for me.

I wish you all joy in the Lord."

Dr Sentamu underwent emergency surgery in 2011 to remove his appendix.

On Thursday evening, the Archbishop of Canterbury wrote on Twitter: "Pray for @JohnSentamu following operation today, swift recovery and joy in Christ. Thanks for his courage and for great surgeon and care."

The Bishop of Lincoln, the Rt Revd Christopher Lowson, said on Friday that he was "saddened" to hear of Dr Sentamu's illness. He continued:  "Knowing the Archbishop as a man of great energy and passion, I know that this enforced rest will not come easily to him. I and the diocese of Lincoln join the Church in holding Archbishop John and his family in our prayers, and wish him a speedy and complete recovery."


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