Bishop of Chelmsford named as next Archbishop of York
PUBLISHED: 17:00 17 December 2019
The Queen has appointed the Bishop of Chelmsford as the new Archbishop of York.
The Right Reverend Stephen Cottrell will succeed the Right Honourable Dr John Sentamu in the senior Church of England role following nine years serving Barking and Dagenham, Havering, Newham and Redbridge.
Bishop Stephen said: "I am humbled and excited at the prospect of becoming the 98th Archbishop of York.
"I will receive the baton from Archbishop Sentamu. These aren't just big shoes to fill, but a big heart and a big vision.
"However, I am not daunted."
He added that although he was born and raised in Essex, he knows and loves the north of England after serving in Huddersfield for nine years.
The Most Reverend Justin Welby, the Archbishop of Canterbury, said he was delighted at Bishop Stephen's nomination, praising his experience, work addressing "past failures" on diversity and commitment to reforming the Church of England.
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"Archbishop Sentamu's ministry has been extraordinarily significant. In Bishop Stephen there is a worthy successor," he added.
Bishop Stephen was ordained in November 2010 the 10th bishop of Chelmsford which is the second largest diocese in England with a population of more than three million covering east London and Essex.
About six in 10 people say they are Christian in the region with average church attendance reported as 36,600 per week in a diocese covering 1,500 square miles.
More than 700 people are confirmed and 4,250 people baptised in the area which comprises 469 parishes, 579 churches and 518 clergy.
As Archbishop of York, Bishop Stephen will lead the 12 dioceses in the Church of England's northern region.
The Right Reverend Peter Hill, Bishop of Barking, said: "Stephen has been a transforming presence as Bishop of Chelmsford within and beyond the church.
"His gifts as a preacher, communicator and evangelist are well known and valued locally, nationally and internationally.
"We in east London and Essex know he will be a wise, collaborative and visionary Archbishop. When the time comes we will send him back north with reluctance, but also with much love and prayer."
Dr Sentamu is due to retire from the post on June 7 next year.