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."

PROMOTED VIDEO
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
News
ebooksAn evocation of the conflict through the eyes of those who lived through it
Independent
Travel Shop
the manor
Up to 70% off luxury travel
on city breaks Find out more
santorini
Up to 70% off luxury travel
on chic beach resorts Find out more
sardina foodie
Up to 70% off luxury travel
on country retreats Find out more
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

C# Developer (Genetic Algorithms, .NET 4.5, TDD, SQL, AI)

£40000 - £60000 per annum + Benefits + Bonus: Harrington Starr: C# Developer (...

C# Full Stack Developer (.NET 4.0, ASP.NET, MVC, Ajax, WCF,SQL)

£55000 - £65000 per annum + Benefits + Bonus: Harrington Starr: C# Full Stack ...

AIFMD Business Analyst / Consultant - Investment Management

£450 - £600 per day: Harrington Starr: AIFMD Business Analyst / Consultant - I...

Business Analyst Solvency II SME (Pillar 1, 2 & 3) Insurance

£450 - £600 per day: Harrington Starr: Business Analyst Solvency II SME (Pilla...

Day In a Page

Middle East crisis: We know all too much about the cruelty of Isis – but all too little about who they are

We know all too much about the cruelty of Isis – but all too little about who they are

Now Obama has seen the next US reporter to be threatened with beheading, will he blink, asks Robert Fisk
Ferguson: In the heartlands of America, a descent into madness

A descent into madness in America's heartlands

David Usborne arrived in Ferguson, Missouri to be greeted by a scene more redolent of Gaza and Afghanistan
BBC’s filming of raid at Sir Cliff’s home ‘may be result of corruption’

BBC faces corruption allegation over its Sir Cliff police raid coverage

Reporter’s relationship with police under scrutiny as DG is summoned by MPs to explain extensive live broadcast of swoop on singer’s home
Lauded therapist Harley Mille still in limbo as battle to stay in Britain drags on

Lauded therapist still in limbo as battle to stay in Britain drags on

Australian Harley Miller is as frustrated by court delays as she is with the idiosyncrasies of immigration law
Lewis Fry Richardson's weather forecasts changed the world. But could his predictions of war do the same?

Lewis Fry Richardson's weather forecasts changed the world...

But could his predictions of war do the same?
Kate Bush asks fans not to take photos at her London gigs: 'I want to have contact with the audience, not iPhones'

'I want to have contact with the audience, not iPhones'

Kate Bush asks fans not to take photos at her London gigs
Under-35s have rated gardening in their top five favourite leisure activities, but why?

Young at hort

Under-35s have rated gardening in their top five favourite leisure activities. But why are so many people are swapping sweaty clubs for leafy shrubs?
Tim Vine, winner of the Funniest Joke of the Fringe award: 'making a quip as funny as possible is an art'

Beyond a joke

Tim Vine, winner of the Funniest Joke of the Fringe award, has nigh-on 200 in his act. So how are they conceived?
The late Peter O'Toole shines in 'Katherine of Alexandria' despite illness

The late Peter O'Toole shines in 'Katherine of Alexandria' despite illness

Sadly though, the Lawrence of Arabia star is not around to lend his own critique
Wicken Fen in Cambridgeshire: The joy of camping in a wetland nature reserve and sleeping under the stars

A wild night out

Wicken Fen in Cambridgeshire offers a rare chance to camp in a wetland nature reserve
Comic Sans for Cancer exhibition: It’s the font that’s openly ridiculed for its jaunty style, but figures of fun have their fans

Comic Sans for Cancer exhibition

It’s the font that’s openly ridiculed for its jaunty style, but figures of fun have their fans
Besiktas vs Arsenal: Five things we learnt from the Champions League first-leg tie

Besiktas vs Arsenal

Five things we learnt from the Champions League first-leg tie
Rory McIlroy a smash hit on the US talk show circuit

Rory McIlroy a smash hit on the US talk show circuit

As the Northern Irishman prepares for the Barclays, he finds time to appear on TV in the States, where he’s now such a global superstar that he needs no introduction
Boy racer Max Verstappen stays relaxed over step up to Formula One

Boy racer Max Verstappen stays relaxed over step up to F1

The 16-year-old will become the sport’s youngest-ever driver when he makes his debut for Toro Rosso next season
Fear brings the enemies of Isis together at last

Fear brings the enemies of Isis together at last

But belated attempts to unite will be to no avail if the Sunni caliphate remains strong in Syria, says Patrick Cockburn