Thinking Anglicans

Archbishop of York to retire – in June 2020

Dr John Sentamu has announced that he will retire from his post as Archbishop of York on 7 June 2020, Trinity Sunday, 3 days prior to his 71st birthday. The official announcement is here.

Some press reports

Adam Becket Church Times Archbishop Sentamu announces his retirement — but not for another 21 months

Joe Cawthorn Yorkshire Evening Post Archbishop of York John Sentamu has announced his retirement date

BBC News Archbishop of York Dr John Sentamu to retire

Harriet Sherwood The Guardian Archbishop of York says he will retire in 2020

Victoria Ward and Jamie Merrill The Telegraph Sentamu retirement opens door for Church of England’s first female archbishop

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Cassandra
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Cassandra

Just before the Lambeth Conference… is that significant?

Simon Butler
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Simon Butler

Not significant. He could not legally go on to the Lambeth Conference after the age of 71. That’s already an extension on the normal retirement age of 70.

Cassandra
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Cassandra

So is there a chance of no ++York in post for Lambeth? There was a gap before Stuart Blanch was installed in York, but maybe that was exceptional.

Jeremy
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Jeremy

Yes.

Interested Observer
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Interested Observer

Good. His tenure at York has been defensive and divisive. He was hugely impressive as Bishop of Birmingham, and did a great deal of good outreach and ecumenical work, which gave no signs of his reflexive homophobia. Then in the run up to the same-sex marriage legislation he got progressively more and more open about his distaste, and as Archbishop of York he has used the pulpit to draw hard lines around what he sees as immutable truths. I think this article marked the end of the idea of him as a serious thinker, rather than a product of the… Read more »

Laurence Cunnington
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Laurence Cunnington

The next Archbishop of York will be Paul Williams, currently Bishop of Southwell & Nottingham. I’m just putting this out there so I can do the ‘told you so’ dance in two years’ time. 🙂

Nick
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Nick

Thank you for suggesting this. I think Paul Williams is excellent, and I hope that this happens.

Laurence Cunnington
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Laurence Cunnington

I think Paul Williams is anything but excellent, presiding, as he does, over one of the most homophobic dioceses in the Church of England. I merely suggest that he *will* be the next ABY, not that he deserves to be.

Nick
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Nick

I can’t comment on the diocese, but I am not sure that the views of individuals or parishes in a diocese which he joined relatively recently defines whether he would be a good Archbishop or not.

Father David
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Father David

Or maybe Chelmsford or Leeds?

Jeremy
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Jeremy

It seems a bit early to “announce” a retirement that we all could have predicted, as it will be on the legally required schedule (with the one-year extension).
I wonder what brought this on?

Philip Hobday
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Philip Hobday

Someone more qualified than me might know, but I imagine they are trying to avoid a long interregnum and it’s only possible to to do that if they get the Vacancy in See / Crown Nominations process underway now, but they can only start that once the existing post-holder has announced their retirement. Again, somone more qualified than me might know, but it does make me wonder why this doesn’t happen for all diocesan appointments. I’ve served in three dioceses now, two of which had gaps of well over a year between bishops, with all the planning blight and uncertainty… Read more »

Jeremy
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Jeremy

Is it usual for a retirement announcement to accompany an extension announcement?
And look which is getting more attention.

T Pott
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T Pott

I suppose what he was really announcing was, not so much his retirement in 2020, as his non-retirement in 2019. The news is that he has accepted an extension.

Robert Ian Williams
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Robert Ian Williams

I still haven’t recovered from his statement about the Royal couple living together before marriage.. One has to feel the udder before you milk the cow.

He protested the Mugabe dictatorship but not the brutal homophobic regime of Uganda.

peterpi - Peter Gross
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peterpi - Peter Gross

“One has to feel the udder before you milk the cow.”

Just to clarify, Robert, that’s an actual quote from Archbishop Sentamu?
I can think of several past British monarchs where making such a statement about the royals might cause the speaker to lose his or her head while being in residence at the Tower of London.

Kennedy Fraser
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Kennedy Fraser

>> Just to clarify, Robert, that’s an actual quote from Archbishop Sentamu?

https://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/uknews/royal-wedding/8481736/Royal-wedding-Archbishop-backs-William-and-Kates-decision-to-live-together-before-marriage.html


The Archbishop of York backed Prince William and Kate Middleton’s decision to live together before marriage, saying that many modern couples want to “test the milk before they buy the cow”.

Dr John Sentamu argued that the royal couple’s public commitment to live their lives together today would be more important than their past.

Jeremy
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Jeremy

And now Government have announced that civil partnerships, which the Church intended to forestall same-sex marriage, will be available for heterosexual couples as well.
Civil partnerships seem to have been, from the CofE point of view, an own goal.

FrDavidH
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FrDavidH

Presumably ‘straight’ clergy who avail themselves of this new law will have to solemnly promise to remain celibate.

Fr Andrew
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Fr Andrew

It will certainly be fascinating to see how the Church authorities react to this, though given the vortex of idiocy they’ve backed themselves into here, they’ll probably just keep silent. As the Church of England position is that sex is only permissible within heterosexual marriage, will they bring out a statement condemning sex within heterosexual civil partnerships? Will any heterosexual ordinand within a civil partnership have to promise their bishop that they are living a celibate life? Will heterosexual clergy be banned from entering a civil partnership?Will perhaps the church bless heterosexual civil partnerships? Will heterosexual civil partnerships be considered… Read more »

Interested Observer
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Interested Observer

“vortex of idiocy” would be a good name for a post-punk band, sounding a bit like XTC. That said, Jeremy, Judith and you have it absolutely right. The only people who have undermined marriage are the CofE: civil partnerships were created to avoid the CofE having a fit of the vapours, but the old dictum that in hell, people get what they ask for seems to apply. And the question “will they bring out a statement condemning sex within heterosexual civil partnerships?” is absolutely right. Justin Welby’s hand needs to be held to the fire until he gives an unambiguous… Read more »

Judith Maltby
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Judith Maltby

Re: civil partnerships for all. Will clergy be allowed to bless civil partnerships of heterosexual couples, though not same sex couples, in the way that is allowed for civil marriage (but not for same sex couples)? Will someone who was in an heterosexual civil partnership, which was dissolved and then marries (someone of the opposite sex) – will he or she need a Faculty to be ordained? If not, why not? We’re going to need a Flow Chart.

Alan Davies
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Alan Davies

The longest farewell in history? And why has he been given an extension until his 71st birthday? He’s been flagging for several years now, and been little more than a predictable rent-a-quote for the conservative right. Surely, he should go next year when he’s 70 and make room for a new voice. How is the Church benefiting from Dr Sentamu clinging to office long beyond his 70th birthday?

Jeremy
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Jeremy

See Cassandra’s delicately phrased opening question, above.

Tony Harris
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Tony Harris

He should retire on his 70th birthday

Father David
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Father David

Does the current Bishop of Hereford also have to have royal approval in order to stay in post beyond his 70th birthday or does that merely require Sentamu’s approval? I know of certain priests over 70 who are fit and active in ministry and have a desire to remain in post beyond becoming septuagenarians but their far from pastoral Fathers in God have decided otherwise and so they must go! There is a sad lack here of ministerial equality with one rule for bishops and another rule for priests.

Malcolm Gray
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Malcolm Gray

The Deans of Canterbury and Windsor are 71 years of age does the 70 rule apply to them, maybe Windsor being a Royal appointment is different

Simon Kershaw
Admin

No, diocesan bishops require the approval of their provincial archbishop to remain in post until their 75th birthday. Clergy can do so at the discretion of their diocesan bishop. This applies, if I have understood the rules aright, to those who hold office under common tenure. Freeholders may still have their office extended until they are 71.

https://www.thinkinganglicans.org.uk/5419-2/ details the rules in place in 2012.

And http://www.lawandreligionuk.com/2017/09/19/cofe-clergy-over-70-changes-to-terms-of-service/ details the changes made in 2017.

http://www.legislation.gov.uk/uksi/2017/316/regulation/2/made

Anthony Archer
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Anthony Archer

I think Simon Kershaw has it right but the rules appear somewhat complex, as two pieces of legislation get confused, the Ecclesiastical Offices (Age Limit) Measure 1975 and the more recent Ecclesiastical Offices (Terms of Service) (Amendment) Regulations 2017. Much seems to turn on whether the office is held under common tenure. However, my reading is that the later regulations make no change to the 1975 Measure so far as concerns archbishops. An archbishop may continue in office after attaining retiring age at discretion of Her Majesty. Where Her Majesty considers that there are special circumstances which make it desirable… Read more »

Marian Birch
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Marian Birch

To respond to your question from the perspective of Machiavelli. There will be pressure (which I applaud) to appoint a woman as Archbishop of York in succession to John Sentamu. However there will also be concern that when Justin Welby retires that a woman is not chosen as ABC (parts of the rest of the Anglican Communion would not like it). Therefore it is important that the woman Archbishop of York is as ‘new’ as possible when the ABC retires – in order to make her ‘translation’ to Canterbury less obvious or likely. Hence the current ABY needs to stay… Read more »

Stephen King
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Stephen King

I would not have a problem with a woman Archbishop of York. However, there have been few senior appointees of opponents of the ordination of women to senior positions, despite people of that persuasion being assured of an honoured place in the C of E. Were such a person to be Archbishop of York, the three senior posts would be held by a man who ordains women, a man who does not, and a woman. That way all views would be reflected in the C of E’s uppermost reaches, and seems fair to me.

Jeremy
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Jeremy

I agree that Communion politics played a very large part in the extension. I’m not sure the Communion political reasons are the ones that Archblogger Cranmer identifies. There may be others.
Also it seems odd to announce the retirement with the extension.

Kate
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Kate

I read this as the Archbishop of Canterbury (who must formally have supported the postponement) would prefer to have a known conservative in office until work on Living in Live and Faith is completed rather risk a liberal being appointed in time to make a significant contribution.

In other words, Living in Love and Faith will be conservative.

Stanley Monkhouse
Guest

There’ll be a fair few applications to join “Nobody’s Friends” I should think.