Sentamu is Church of England's first black archbishop
THE Rt Rev John Sentamu, the Bishop of Birmingham, has become the Church of England's first black archbishop.
The Ugandan-born cleric, left, takes over as Archbishop of York from Dr David Hope, who quit in February to become a parish priest in Ilkley, West Yorkshire.
Bishop Sentamu, 56, said his appointment to the second-highest post in the Church of England was "an exciting prospect". He added that the Church needed to regain its vision and confidence and be ready to take risks.
Bishop Sentamu said he looked forward to working with the Archbishop of Canterbury, Dr Rowan Williams, to spread the Christian message.
"It is imperative that the Church regains her vision and confidence in mission, developing ways that will enable the Church of England to reconnect imaginatively with England," he said.
He called for reconciliation in the rows over gay priests and women bishops which have brought the Church close to schism, urging African primates not to break with the Anglican communion in protest at the ordination of a homosexual bishop in the US.
But he made clear he stood by the Lambeth Resolution of 1998, which rejects homosexual practice as "incompatible with scripture" and rules out gay marriage in church.
Looking ahead to next month's General Synod, at which fierce a debate over women bishops is expected, he said: "I hope that, should we move towards ordaining women to the episcopate, those who oppose ... will still be made to feel that they belong to this particular Church, and I am sure that arrangements can be made to make that possible."
A former barrister and judge, he fled Idi Amin's Uganda and trained as a priest in Cambridge before rising to become Bishop of Stepney in 1996 and Bishop of Birmingham in 2002.
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