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Archbishop of York to retire in 2020

01 October 2018

Dr Sentamu says he will use his final 21 months to ‘complete his work’


THE Archbishop of York, Dr John Sentamu, will be retiring in June 2020, it was announced on Monday morning.

Dr Sentamu, who has been Archbishop of York since 2005, will be leaving the position three days before his 71st birthday. Ecclesiastical law states that all bishops and archbishops must retire at 70, but the Queen has exercised her right to grant a one-year extension.

In a press release, Dr Sentamu said: “I will be retiring from my post as Archbishop of York in June 2020. I have decided to announce my retirement now in order to provide the Church of England with the widest possible time-frame to pray, discern with wisdom and insight and put in place a timetable for my successor, and to consider fully the work they will be called to do in service to the national Church, the Northern Province, and the diocese of York.

“I am deeply grateful to Her Majesty The Queen for graciously allowing me to continue as Archbishop of York until June 2020 in order to enable me to complete the work to which I have been called.”

The Queen’s discretion is covered by the Ecclesiastical Offices (Age Limit) Measure 1975, and the Ecclesiastical Offices (Terms of Service) (Amendment) Regulations 2017, which states: “Where Her Majesty considers that there are special circumstances which make it desirable that a person holding the office of archbishop should continue in that office after the date on which he would otherwise retire in accordance with the foregoing section, She may authorise the continuance in office of that person after that date for such period, not exceeding one year, as She may in her discretion determine.”

There appears to be no plans for a 21-month retirement party. Dr Sentamu said that he would be using the rest of his time in office to focus on key areas in his diocese and province, including the launch of his discipleship programme “Reach, Grow, Sustain”, and leading bishops’ missions in Liverpool, Southwell & Nottingham, and in York. Planned missions to three Anglican Communion Provinces overseas will go ahead, and Dr Sentamu will continue with his Young Leaders award programme.

In his statement on Monday, he said: “I am full of joy and expectation to see all that God is doing and will be doing in this diocese and in the Northern Province over the coming months.”

Born in Uganda in 1949 and trained in the law, Dr Sentamu was ordained priest in 1979, before becoming Bishop of Stepney in 1996, and Bishop of Birmingham in 2002. He was installed as Archbishop of York in November 2005.

From the archive: Dr Sentamu turns his enthronement into a party

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