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The Archbishop of York's office has announced that Dr John Sentamu will retire from his post on 7 June 2020, Trinity Sunday, three days prior to his 71st birthday.

And reacting to the news on behalf of the Diocese the Bishop of Blackburn, Rt Rev. Julian Henderson, took the opportunity today to pay tribute to the work of the Archbishop. 

Making his announcement this morning the Archbishop said that until June 2020 he will focus on a number of key areas in the Diocese of York and the Northern Province including the launch and embedding of the Diocesan evangelism and discipleship programme ‘Reach, Grow, Sustain.’

There will also be an opportunity for the Archbishop to continue leading the bishops’ missions in the Northern Province of the Church of England which have already visited many dioceses, including Blackburn Diocese, with three further Dioceses, Liverpool, Southwell and Nottingham and York, still to host the event.

He will continue with the facilitation of conversations for the ‘One Yorkshire’ deal as it plans for a possible Mayoral election in 2020.

Dr Sentamu will also be involved in extending his Young Leaders Award Programme into the lives of schools in the Southern Province of the Church of England, following the success of the programme in working with 550 schools in the Northern Province.

And he will lead Missions already planned in three Provinces of the Anglican Communion.

Dr Sentamu said: “I will be retiring from my post as Archbishop of York in June 2020. I have decided to announce my retirement now in order to provide the Church of England with the widest possible timeframe to pray, discern with wisdom and insight and put in place a timetable for my successor and to consider fully the work they will be called to do in service to the national church, the Northern Province and the Diocese of York.

“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.”

The Archbishop has made numerous visits to Lancashire including, in recent years, three days in 2014 touring the whole of the County, which featured an evening mission event for 2000 people at a packed Blackpool Tower Ballroom. And in 2016 he led 'Crossroads', the hugely successful four day Northern Bishops' Mission.

Speaking this afternoon Bishop Julian (pictured with the Archbishop) said: "The announcement of the intended retirement by Archbishop of York in June 2020 will mark the end of an era - an era that has been significant under his leadership in the Northern Province of the Church of England.

"In particular we have been grateful for a missionary archbishop who is has led and continues to lead successful missions in dioceses across the Northern Province as well as Deanery parish missions in his own Diocese of York. 

"The smile and joy in his face is always evident when he discovers a person has come to faith in Christ. He has been instrumental in encouraging many to come that decision. 

"We give thanks to God for his tenure in York and trust that his final 18 months will be blessed with good health and many encouragements prior to his retirement."


Ronnie Semley

October 1, 2018