Archbishop of York quits for future as parish priest

The second most senior figure in the Church of England, Dr David Hope, the Archbishop of York, has announced his resignation to take up a job as a parish priest.

Dr Hope has found himself at the centre of the deepening crisis in Anglicanism and the threatened schism over the issues of gay priests and women clergy. The decision on who is to replace him will be closely scrutinised by both the liberal and conservative wings of the Church.

The Archbishop, who once defined his own sexuality as a "grey area" provoked the fury of campaigners for gay rights for failing to give more support to Dr Jeffrey John, the homosexual priest whose appointment as the Bishop of Reading was thwarted by traditionalists last year.

His decision to stand down, although anticipated, comes less than 10 months after he reportedly delayed his retirement for two years in order to help the embattled Archbishop of Canterbury, Dr Rowan Williams.

Dr Williams yesterday described the Archbishop as "one of God's great gifts to the Church". "I shall miss him more than I can easily say, as a colleague whose wise advice and constant support have made a huge difference to my own ministry," he said.

Dr Hope, 64, will cease to be Archbishop from February, taking up his new post as vicar of St Margaret's, Ilkley in March.

The move means giving up his residence at Bishopthorpe Palace, which he has occupied since 1995, and taking a salary cut of £40,000 a year. But Dr Hope said it was St Margaret's traditional values that had attracted him. "I thought it would be good to conclude my ministry where I began, I began as a parish priest. All ministries are a vocation, a calling from God, I was responding to that call," he said.

From the Anglo-Catholic wing of the church, Dr Hope won the approval of conservatives last year when he addressed the National Evangelical Congress.

But there are uncomfortable times ahead for his successor. This autumn Dr Williams will publish a long awaited report on the issue of gay clergy and church authority.

Dr Hope, who has opposed the ordination of women, has also been at the centre of talks to introduce a so-called third province - an all male church-within-a-church with its own archbishop, bishops and training colleges. Last month, he told the General Synod the church must not be "overwhelmed" by gay issues.

Richard Kirker of the Lesbian and Gay Christian Movement said Dr Hope had helped prevent an open schism between the Church's warring factions but at the cost of highlighting its "institutionalised homophobia".

"Someone must be found to replace him who will be determined to create a more inclusive Church, even if that means alienating some traditionalists."

David Holloway, the vicar of Jesmond and a member of the evangelical group Reform said: "I am ... praying that someone with clear biblical convictions will be appointed. It is absolutely essential that person will be in the mainstream of Anglican tradition."

Start your day with The Independent, sign up for daily news emails
Life and Style
Fans line up at the AVNs, straining to capture a photo of their favourite star
life Tim Walker asks how much longer it can flesh out an existence
Life and Style
Every minute of every day, Twitter is awash with anger as we seek to let these organisations know precisely what we think of them
techWhen it comes to vitriol, no one on attracts our ire more than big businesses offering bad service
News
Professor David Nutt wants to change the way gravely ill patients are treated in Britain
people Why does a former Government tsar believe that mind-altering drugs have a place on prescription?
News
Norway’s ‘The Nordland Line – Minute by Minute, Season by Season’ continues the trend of slow TV
television
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
ebooks
ebooksA special investigation by Andy McSmith
Arts and Entertainment
art
Sport
Jonny Evans has pleaded not guilty to an FA charge for spitting at Papiss Cisse
football
Life and Style
Kate Moss will make a cameo appearance in David Walliams' The Boy in the Dress
fashion
News
The image released by the Salvation Army, using 'The Dress'
news
Sport
Liverpool defender Kolo Toure
football Defender could make history in the FA Cup, but African Cup of Nations win means he's already content
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Independent Dating
and  

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

iJobs Job Widget
iJobs General

Ashdown Group: Technical Presales Consultant - London - £65,000 OTE.

£65000 per annum: Ashdown Group: Technical Presales Engineer - central London ...

Recruitment Genius: Physiotherapist / Sports Therapist

£20000 - £50000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: A Physiotherapist / Sports Ther...

Recruitment Genius: Sales Executive / Advisor

£8 - £9 per hour: Recruitment Genius: Sales Executives / Advisors are required...

Recruitment Genius: Warehouse Operative

£14000 - £15000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: An opportunity has arisen for a...

Day In a Page

Homeless Veterans campaign: Donations hit record-breaking £1m target after £300,000 gift from Lloyds Bank

Homeless Veterans campaign

Donations hit record-breaking £1m target after huge gift from Lloyds Bank
Flight MH370 a year on: Lost without a trace – but the search goes on

Lost without a trace

But, a year on, the search continues for Flight MH370
Germany's spymasters left red-faced after thieves break into brand new secret service HQ and steal taps

Germany's spy HQ springs a leak

Thieves break into new €1.5bn complex... to steal taps
International Women's Day 2015: Celebrating the whirlwind wit of Simone de Beauvoir

Whirlwind wit of Simone de Beauvoir

Simone de Beauvoir's seminal feminist polemic, 'The Second Sex', has been published in short-form for International Women's Day
Mark Zuckerberg’s hiring policy might suit him – but it wouldn’t work for me

Mark Zuckerberg’s hiring policy might suit him – but it wouldn’t work for me

Why would I want to employ someone I’d be happy to have as my boss, asks Simon Kelner
Confessions of a planespotter: With three Britons under arrest in the UAE, the perils have never been more apparent

Confessions of a planespotter

With three Britons under arrest in the UAE, the perils have never been more apparent. Sam Masters explains the appeal
Russia's gulag museum 'makes no mention' of Stalin's atrocities

Russia's gulag museum

Ministry of Culture-run site 'makes no mention' of Stalin's atrocities
The big fresh food con: Alarming truth behind the chocolate muffin that won't decay

The big fresh food con

Joanna Blythman reveals the alarming truth behind the chocolate muffin that won't decay
Virginia Ironside was my landlady: What is it like to live with an agony aunt on call 24/7?

Virginia Ironside was my landlady

Tim Willis reveals what it's like to live with an agony aunt on call 24/7
Paris Fashion Week 2015: The wit and wisdom of Manish Arora's exercise in high camp

Paris Fashion Week 2015

The wit and wisdom of Manish Arora's exercise in high camp
8 best workout DVDs

8 best workout DVDs

If your 'New Year new you' regime hasn’t lasted beyond February, why not try working out from home?
Paul Scholes column: I don't believe Jonny Evans was spitting at Papiss Cissé. It was a reflex. But what the Newcastle striker did next was horrible

Paul Scholes column

I don't believe Evans was spitting at Cissé. It was a reflex. But what the Newcastle striker did next was horrible
Miguel Layun interview: From the Azteca to Vicarage Road with a million followers

From the Azteca to Vicarage Road with a million followers

Miguel Layun is a star in Mexico where he was criticised for leaving to join Watford. But he says he sees the bigger picture
Frank Warren column: Amir Khan ready to meet winner of Floyd Mayweather v Manny Pacquiao

Khan ready to meet winner of Mayweather v Pacquiao

The Bolton fighter is unlikely to take on Kell Brook with two superstar opponents on the horizon, says Frank Warren
War with Isis: Iraq's government fights to win back Tikrit from militants - but then what?

Baghdad fights to win back Tikrit from Isis – but then what?

Patrick Cockburn reports from Kirkuk on a conflict which sectarianism has made intractable