Bishop John Sentamu

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Sue Lawley's castaway this week is The Bishop of Birmingham, John Sentamu. When John Sentamu was born, the sixth of 13 children, near Kampala in Uganda in 1949, he was so small the local bishop was called in to baptise him immediately. He survived his birth, a sickly childhood and a famine to become, a mere 25 years later, a judge in the Uganda High Court.

In 1974 he managed to get a visa to leave Uganda and come to Britain where he studied theology with a view to returning to the Ugandan justice system at the end of his studies. However, when his friend the Ugandan Archbishop Janani Luwum was murdered he vowed "You kill my friend, I take his place", and he was ordained in 1979. He served in parishes in Cambridge and London, and was vicar of Holy Trinity Church in South London for 13 years during which time he raised £1.6 million to restore his church and its organ as well as increasing his congregation tenfold. He is now the Bishop of Birmingham, and one of only two senior bishops from ethnic minorities. He was an advisor to the Stephen Lawrence Judicial Inquiry and the Chairman of the Damilola Taylor Review board.

[Taken from the original programme material for this archive edition of Desert Island Discs]

Favourite track: I Was Glad by Sir Hubert Parry
Book: The Complete Chronicles of Narnia by C S Lewis
Luxury: A kitchen

Release date:

Available now

45 minutes

Last on

Fri 27 Jun 2003 09:00


Role Contributor
PresenterSue Lawley
Interviewed GuestJohn Sentamu

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