Thinking Anglicans

Confirmation of Election of Bishop Stephen Cottrell as the 98th Archbishop of York

The Church of England has announced that Stephen Cottrell will be confirmed as the next Archbishop of York on 9 July 2020. The proceedings will be via video conference. Details are in today’s press release which is copied below.

Confirmation of Election of Bishop Stephen Cottrell as the 98th Archbishop of York, Thursday 9 July 2020
20/05/2020

Bishop Stephen Geoffrey Cottrell will be confirmed as the 98th Archbishop of York at 11am on Thursday 9 July 2020, in a service broadcast entirely via video conference due to the Coronavirus restrictions. As Presiding Judge, the Archbishop of Canterbury, the Most Revd Justin Welby, has granted permission for the virtual service to take place.

The service, which had been due to take place in York Minster, will be in two parts: a legal ceremony with readings, prayers and music; and a film marking the start of Bishop Stephen’s ministry as Archbishop of York.

The service will include music from York Minster Choir and Manor Church of England Academy School (York). Young people from across the North of England, will read a letter written by the medieval religious scholar Alcuin of York. Bishop Stephen will offer his first address as Archbishop of York. Prayers will be offered for the Archbishop, the Diocese of York and the Northern Province of the Church of England as well as for the wider world in these difficult times.

Commenting on the service, Bishop Stephen Cottrell said: “I am looking forward to beginning my ministry as the 98th Archbishop of York. This isn’t quite how I imagined it would begin. It is certainly the first time an Archbishop’s election will have been confirmed via video conference. But we’re all having to re-imagine how we live our lives and how we inhabit the world. These are difficult times. My hope is that through this service the love of God that is given us in Jesus Christ will shine out, perhaps even to those who while never attending a service in York Minster, might have a look online. I can still just about remember what it’s like to not be part of the Christian community. What inspired me to follow Jesus is that vision of a new humanity that I see in him. Following in the footsteps of my many predecessors, I look forward to serving our nation and bringing the love and peace of Christ to our world, especially here in the north.”

The Archbishop of Canterbury Justin Welby said: “Like so many across the Church of England and Anglican Communion, I am looking forward to welcoming Bishop Stephen to his new ministry with joy, thanksgiving and hope. He radiates the love of Jesus Christ wherever he goes, and along with my fellow bishops, I look forward to serving alongside him. These are difficult times for everyone, and frightening and painful times for many. But we believe as strongly as ever that Jesus is the light that shines in the darkness. I pray that this new beginning for Bishop Stephen as he becomes Archbishop of York is also a moment that refreshes our hope, deepens our faith and sends us out with new energy to love and serve others in Christ’s name.”

Commenting on behalf of the Bishops of the Northern Province, the Bishop of Newcastle, Christine Hardman said: “The Bishops of the Province of York welcome Bishop Stephen to his new ministry and look forward to working with him in serving communities across the north and in building confidence in the good news of Jesus Christ.”

The Dean of York, the Right Revd Dr Jonathan Frost said: “It is a joy to welcome Bishop Stephen to his Cathedral Church, new Diocese and to a vibrant community of cathedrals across the North of England: they are true powerhouses of love and prayer. Bishop Stephen, Rebecca and their family are enfolded in our prayers and love.”

Dr Nick Land, Chair of the House of Laity in York Diocesan Synod and Chair of the Diocese’s Vacancy in See Committee said: “I would like to add my voice of welcome to Bishop Stephen. Anyone spending any time with him will be struck by Bishop Stephen’s deep love for God and his infectious enthusiasm for telling people about Jesus. My prayer and expectation is that he will lead us in deepening our personal commitment to Christ and will help us become more confident in sharing the Good News of the Gospel in the Diocese of York.”

The Confirmation of Election is the formal legal process that completes the appointment of senior bishops. Prior to the confirmation, the College of Canons of York Minster will have elected the Archbishop Designate as the Queen’s nominee for the post. At the start of the proceedings, he will give his consent to his appointment. Following the reading of the Queen’s Letters Patent, legal documents supporting the appointment will be produced to show that all necessary procedures have been followed. At the conclusion, the election will be confirmed, and Bishop Stephen will become the Archbishop of York. The service would ordinarily take place in York Minster, the seat of the Archbishop of York.

The service will be available on the Church of England website.

Arrangements for Bishop Stephen’s enthronement service will be announced later in the year.

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Simon Bravery
Simon Bravery
3 months ago

Doing homage may be more problematic. I understand the new prelate places his or her hands between those of the Sovereign whilst making the declaration. Perhaps ++ Stephen will just read the declaration via video link to the Queen at Windsor.

Michael O’Sullivan
Michael O’Sullivan
3 months ago

Quite why the Archbishop’s court can’t meet in York Minster at a social distance three days into ‘stage 3’ of the Prime Minister’s plan is anybody’s guess. I have never seen more than about 200 people at the Court of Arches even when it was convened for the most popular appointments and fully open to the public. It seems to me that the hierarchy like the unions are simply determined to wallow in this crisis for as long as humanly possible and it does not bode well..

Ian
Ian
3 months ago

On what basis are you taking a swipe at the unions. Health unions, shop workers unions, and yes, teachers unions have done no more than require safety for their members. As the father of a nurse working in a London hospital, I am grateful that they have been doing their job. To refer to it as wallowing in the crisis is in my view out of order. As to the hierarchy of the X of A I have no comment to make

Ian
Ian
3 months ago
Reply to  Ian

Sorry. By X of A I mean C of E . Stodgy fingers problem.

Betty
Betty
3 months ago

Michael, your comment saddened me to my heart, coming after I had just read the happy news of the appointment. I wish you had not used the phrase ‘simply determined to wallow’ as it suggests a careless and obstructive motive for the actions of those you are blaming. I was a teacher for 37 years and a union rep in my school for many of those years, and I can assure you that everything we did in that role was dedicated to the well-being of our pupils, staff and parents, and out of concern for their safety and for the… Read more »

William
William
3 months ago
Reply to  Betty

I’m sure you did a great job Betty. Unfortunately the current position of the unions in opposing the opening of schools will have a devastating effect on children, particularly the poorest and most vulnerable ones. The psychological and educational damage will be horrendous.

Betty
Betty
3 months ago
Reply to  William

Thank you, William. You are absolutely right about the effects of this situation, and on both sides of the debate, we are all fully aware of the damage to the poorest and most vulnerable children of the measures which have been taken, necessary to limit the spread of the virus, and those which are being considered. My point was, that the representatives are not, in his words, ‘simply determined to wallow in the crisis’, nor, as others might say, are the other side’s motives ‘reckless and risk-taking carelessness’. I took exception to his slur on the motives of workers’ representatives.They… Read more »

Kate
Kate
3 months ago

Since there is no change in sacramental status, a virtual service doesn’t seem to be particularly problematic. It will, of course, be interesting (if the national situation hasn’t changed) whether this will be a kitchen service

However, given the interruption to services in praise of the Lord, the optics of scheduling the confirmation without particular delay are bad in terms of apparent priorities. Clericalism at its worst. Surely it would have been better to have a purely paper process?

RPNewark
RPNewark
3 months ago

This is a translation. Bishop Stephen paid homage when he became a diocesan bishop. Is it normal for diocesans being translated to pay homage again?

Rowland Wateridge
Rowland Wateridge
3 months ago
Reply to  RPNewark

That would appear to be the case. From Law & Religion UK, 20th April 2016: “Bishops: from announcement to installation “Homage to the Monarch; restoration of the temporalities; enthronement: The new bishop pays homage to the Queen and receives from her the temporalities of the see. Formerly these would have included the episcopal residence and estates, now vested in the Church Commissioners, and the only temporalities now administered by the Crown during a vacancy-in-see are the patronages of livings of which the bishop is patron by virtue of his or her see.“ David Pocklington, “Bishops: from announcement to installation” in… Read more »

ACI
ACI
3 months ago

‘Paying homage’ is, I assume, not assignable to a civil category qua civil, because in the CofE the monarch is the head of the Church. Bishops ‘pay homage’ because in some sense, however remotely so today, the Reformation in England declared the monarch the head of the church. And so that notion continues to prevail. Not Pope, or Bishop of Rome, but monarch. From the time of Henry 8th onward (if even in vestigial form — no one has used an eraser to change this). Two questions come to mind. 1. If on this basis the ABC is given a… Read more »

Robert Ellis
Robert Ellis
3 months ago
Reply to  ACI

Just to be pedantic….the Queen is not “the head of the Church of England” but is the “Supreme Governor” of the Church of England.

Mark Bennet
Mark Bennet
3 months ago
Reply to  Robert Ellis

And just to be interesting: reading the Life of Archibald Campbell Tait last week I noted that the unity of the Anglican Communion was first conceived, around the time of the first Lambeth Conference, as originating from the monarch as supreme governor and not from the Archbishop of Canterbury as first among equals. [Questions various about the status and appointment of colonial bishops as governments were becoming more independent and also the bishopric of Jerusalem as well as the notorious Colenso affair were in the air]. It would be interesting to know at what stage that changed – was it… Read more »

ACI
ACI
3 months ago
Reply to  Mark Bennet

Or, perhaps in view of the fact that the Anglican Communion has provinces never in an ’empire to commonwealth’ conception at all?

I do wonder if the specific language ‘unity of the Anglican Communion was first conceived’ is completely accurate? The Colenso affair was, to be sure, a putting out of fire in a specific region of the ’empire to commonwealth’ but to claim for it something like a creation of the AC–if I read your comment rightly–seems odd.

Good comment all the same. The transition from ‘monarch to ABC’ is an intriguing point.

Jeremy
Jeremy
3 months ago
Reply to  Mark Bennet

Wow. There is, you know, this province called The Episcopal Church. Headquartered in the US. It became entirely independent of the Church of England in the 1780s.

ACI
ACI
3 months ago
Reply to  Robert Ellis

Thank you for the correction.I was using a shorthand, but do insert ‘Supreme Governor.’

T Pott
T Pott
3 months ago
Reply to  ACI

Bishops paid homage to the king even before the Reformation, not because he was supreme governor of the Church but because he was the ultimate owner of the estates, endowments and rights which were, temporarily, vested in the bishop.In the same way all great landowners did homage to acknowledge their estates were the king’s and could be forfeited if they proved treacherous or disloyal. Subtenants did homage to tenants-in-chief. This is why bishops on translation must do homage again, because they are accepting different temporalities and acknowledging these ones too come from the Queen, not as a personal gift, but… Read more »

Andrew Godsall
Andrew Godsall
3 months ago
Reply to  ACI

Christopher: presumably those dioceses in other parts of the 80 million strong Anglican Communion which don’t quite ‘get’ the rather unique polity are free to leave it all behind, as indeed some have already done? No one is closing the door to their leaving, as quasi Anglicans in South Carolina are discovering. Their own situation is anything but catholic of course, focussing as it does on personality rather than polity.

ACI
ACI
3 months ago
Reply to  Andrew Godsall

You are correct. Nigeria has eliminated prior language. Places like Korea, Japan, Burundi, et al were never part of a ’empire to commonwealth.’

But to the more obvious point. The CofE has struggles aplenty that will determine its place — especially after the passing of the present monarch. Froghole has done an inestimable job lining out the issues.

ACI
ACI
3 months ago
Reply to  Andrew Godsall

The Archbishop of Canterbury has himself mooted the idea of a reshuffling of the status quo. And quite properly.

‘anything but catholic’ now holds true across the board. Such is our time.

I have no interest in rancor, given the covid crisis, and the penchant for that now at TA. I am happy to withdraw into better places. Bon courage.

Andrew Godsall
Andrew Godsall
3 months ago
Reply to  ACI

No rancour Christopher. I haven’t detected that.
I think the very notion of catholic is indeed shifting.

Father Ron Smith
3 months ago
Reply to  Andrew Godsall

Hopefully, Andrew, a better understanding of the word ‘catholic’ might come into being with the translation of Bishop Stephen – the original subject of this thread. Prayers for the Church of England from our Province of Aotearoa/New Zealand and Pasifika.

Sam Jones
Sam Jones
3 months ago

So what is happening with the consecrations of new bishops – there seems to be a backlog with Lewes, Horsham, St.Germans, Sherwood and Doncaster having been announced. Can this be done virtually?

Rowland Wateridge
Rowland Wateridge
3 months ago
Reply to  Sam Jones

Isn’t it just a case of waiting patiently? They are all Suffragans. It has already been posted on TA that having been appointed they can commence duties (piles of paperwork were mentioned) except ordinations, which are equally on hold.

Consecration of bishops in ‘batches’ already happens.

Janet Fife
Janet Fife
3 months ago

Bishops also install clergy into new parishes, and sometimes into sector ministries such as chaplaincies. And they confirm, of course. I presume confirmation will be delayed; I wonder if installation of incumbents will be too?

Perry Butler
Perry Butler
3 months ago
Reply to  Janet Fife

Have you seen the enormous drop in confirmation numbers Janet? If you took away the confirmations done by the “flying bishops”( im told +Fulhams confirmations are equivalent to those of 13 dioceses) and Public School confirmations, the no of parochial confirmations is now is very small indeed.

Janet Fife
Janet Fife
3 months ago
Reply to  Perry Butler

Nevertheless, there are still some, and they are among the duties of bishops.

Rowland Wateridge
Rowland Wateridge
3 months ago
Reply to  Janet Fife

Yes, I intended to refer to confirmations rather than ordinations, as being more within the roles of Suffragans.

Kate
Kate
3 months ago
Reply to  Sam Jones

Doesn’t it make sense to postpone these consecrations to see if we still need so many bishops?

Will Richards
Will Richards
3 months ago

This is indeed good news. I had picked up some nervous energy around a possible delay in the confirmation of +Stephen’s election (let the reader understand…) so it’s good to know that there will be an expeditious translation. As far as doing homage is concerned, is there any truth in the assumption being whispered by one or two bishops that the VE day broadcast was likely to have been HM’s last official public act and, in effect, Carlos of Clarence will now be assuming all her responsibilities? Apologies if this provokes a torrent of outrage from the Daily Mail readers… Read more »

Kate
Kate
3 months ago
Reply to  Will Richards

Untrue. For example, according to the Court Circular Her Majesty yesterday (20th May) held a [Privy] Council (by telephone).

Gilo
Gilo
3 months ago

Hoping Bishop Stephen Cottrell brings change of culture to the archiepiscopacy of York, and new direction for the whole of the senior layer. To see the disingenuous way Archbishop Sentamu responded to Matt Ineson’s case was disgraceful. And to see a House of Bishops remaining mute as swans in the face of both archbishops’ failures to address situations has been disturbing. There cannot have been many informed Anglicans who did not do an intake of breath when Archbishop Welby said on Ch 4 that Smyth was not an Anglican! I hope Cottrell recognises that behind the establishment flummery and bunting… Read more »

Gilo
Gilo
3 months ago
Reply to  Gilo

One of the Iwerne/Titus survivors asks me to post that they discovered that five bishops, one Archbishop (Welby himself) and 59 of the 1982 attendees alone wear their collar backwards. He adds: Welby’s broadcast statement that Iwerne was “not Anglican” was not only bizarre, but it was offensive and rooted in all too obvious distancing. I know the homework these guys have done. It’s thorough. And I agree. I think Welby’s statement would have caused most bishops up and down the country to despair into their cups at such disconnective leadership in the face of the wider crisis. His and… Read more »

Father Ron Smith
3 months ago

Getting back to the subject of this thread; it is good to know that Bishop Stephen Cottrell will soon take up the mantle of Archbishop of York. Having experienced his eirenic ministry at a 2019 Anglo-Catholic Hui (Meeting) in New Zealand, I believe he will be a ‘shot in the arm’ for a more open trajectory in the C. of E. for ALL of its members – including women and the LGBTQI community. He is also a great preacher and teacher – aware of the deepest needs of the people on the fringes of society. Bishop Stephen is also an… Read more »

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