York & North Yorkshire

Archbishop of York Dr John Sentamu to retire

Dr John Sentamu Image copyright PA
Image caption Dr John Sentamu said he is "full of joy and expectation" for the future

The Archbishop of York Dr John Sentamu has announced his retirement.

Dr Sentamu was the UK's first black archbishop and the Church of England's second most senior clergyman.

He was enthroned at York Minster in November 2005 in a ceremony that broke with tradition and included drums and dancers.

In a statement, Dr Sentamu said he would retire in 2020 but had decided to break the news now to give the Church time to find a successor.

The exact date of his retirement is 7 June 2020, three days before his 71st birthday.

John Tucker Mugabi Sentamu was born near Kampala in 1949. He is the sixth of 13 children.

He practised law at the bar and the bench in the High Court of Uganda before fleeing to Britain in 1974 due to persecution under Idi Amin's regime.

He rose through the Church of England and was tipped for the top role of Archbishop of Canterbury before Justin Welby was appointed in 2013.

Before his promotion to York he had been Bishop of Birmingham since 2002.

Dr Sentamu said: "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.

"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."

He said he would continue to work in the "facilitation of conversations" as Yorkshire tried to find a devolution arrangement acceptable to towns and cities in the region and the government.

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