Refugee who fled Amin is confirmed as archbishop

John Sentamu's journey to the heart of the nation's religious life was completed at 5pm yesterday when a part-legal, part-liturgical church ceremony known as the Confirmation of the Election marked the start of his reign. The ceremony, led by Rowan Williams, the Archbishop of Canterbury, and six senior bishops, took place at St Mary-Le-Bow in the City of London.

Dr Sentamu has been active in taking the Church's message into the community, counteracting secular trends that, according to one recent report, will leave Christianity a minority religion by 2040.

"It is imperative that the Church regains her vision and confidence in mission, developing ways to reconnect imaginatively," Dr Sentamu said on his appointment. "We need ... to revitalise ourselves. We need a fresh vision. This has been true of all churches throughout history, that a time comes when there is an ebb and flow and at one particular point you are in a trough."

The Church hopes that its first black archbishop in England will imbue it with evangelising zeal lacking in the conservative, white men who have gained preferment in the past. Dr Sentamu certainly has a more extraordinary range of experiences to draw on than any of the previous incumbents of a position whose history can be traced back to Paulinus AD625.

As a judge in his home country, he fell foul of the regime of Idi Amin after ignoring an order to deliver a not guilty verdict in a case involving one of Amin's cousins, and jailing him for five years. He was arrested and beaten by an Amin hit squad, and almost died. He later left for England where he studied theology and was ordained in the Anglican Church, serving in Cambridge and London.

On some issues, Dr Sentamu's views are considerably more conservative than those of his senior colleague at Canterbury. His theological hard line on the issue of homosexuality is seen as a counterweight to the more liberal stance of the Dr Williams. This may appease the African primates who take a similar line on the divisive issue.

Dr Sentamu will be enthroned at York Minister on 30 November, succeeding David Hope, now Lord Hope of Thornes, who resigned in February to take up a post as a parish priest.

Dr Sentamu's appointment comes in the wake of The Future of the Church report by the Christian Research organisation which highlights the importance of outreach Christianity groups that encourage fresh forms of expression. The report predicted that the proportion of the population describing itself as Christian will have fallen from the 72 per cent recorded in the 2001 census to about 35 per cent in 2040.

Start your day with The Independent, sign up for daily news emails
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
ebooks
ebooksA special investigation by Andy McSmith
Sport
Dave Mackay lifts the FA Cup in 1967 having skippered Spurs to victory
football
Life and Style
Marie had fake ID, in the name of Johanna Koch, after she evaded capture by the Nazis in wartime Berlin
historyOne woman's secret life as a Jew in wartime Berlin
News
Jihadi John
newsMonikers like 'Jihadi John' make the grim sound glamorous
Arts and Entertainment
As depicted in Disney's Robin Hood, King John was cowardly, cruel, avaricious and incompetent
film
Life and Style
Travis Kalanick, the co-founder of Uber, is now worth $5.3bn
tech
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

Circles South East Youth Service: Youth Services Volunteer

this is an unpaid voluntary position: Circles South East Youth Service: LOOKIN...

Recruitment Genius: Business Development Executive - OTE £30,000+

£18000 - £22000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: This leading privately owned sp...

Recruitment Genius: Software Developer

£30000 - £40000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: A Software Developer is require...

Recruitment Genius: Logistics Supervisor

£24000 - £27000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: The largest supplier to the UK'...

Day In a Page

Syrian conflict is the world's first 'climate change war', say scientists, but it won't be the last one

Climate change key in Syrian conflict

And it will trigger more war in future
How I outwitted the Gestapo

How I outwitted the Gestapo

My life as a Jew in wartime Berlin
The nation's favourite animal revealed

The nation's favourite animal revealed

Women like cuddly creatures whilst men like creepy-crawlies
Is this the way to get young people to vote?

Getting young people to vote

From #VOTESELFISH to Bite the Ballot
Poldark star Heida Reed: 'I don't think a single bodice gets ripped'

Poldark star Heida Reed

'I don't think a single bodice gets ripped'
The difference between America and Israel? There isn’t one

The difference between America and Israel? There isn’t one

Netanyahu knows he can get away with anything in America, says Robert Fisk
Families clubbing together to build their own affordable accommodation

Do It Yourself approach to securing a new house

Community land trusts marking a new trend for taking the initiative away from developers
Head of WWF UK: We didn’t send Cameron to the Arctic to see green ideas freeze

David Nussbaum: We didn’t send Cameron to the Arctic to see green ideas freeze

The head of WWF UK remains sanguine despite the Government’s failure to live up to its pledges on the environment
Author Kazuo Ishiguro on being inspired by shoot-outs and samurai

Author Kazuo Ishiguro on being inspired by shoot-outs and samurai

Set in a mythologised 5th-century Britain, ‘The Buried Giant’ is a strange beast
With money, corruption and drugs, this monk fears Buddhism in Thailand is a ‘poisoned fruit’

Money, corruption and drugs

The monk who fears Buddhism in Thailand is a ‘poisoned fruit’
America's first slavery museum established at Django Unchained plantation - 150 years after slavery outlawed

150 years after it was outlawed...

... America's first slavery museum is established in Louisiana
Kelly Clarkson: How I snubbed Simon Cowell and become a Grammy-winning superstar

Kelly Clarkson: How I snubbed Simon Cowell and become a Grammy-winning superstar

The first 'American Idol' winner on how she manages to remain her own woman – Jane Austen fascination and all
Tony Oursler on exploring our uneasy relationship with technology with his new show

You won't believe your eyes

Tony Oursler's new show explores our uneasy relationship with technology. He's one of a growing number of artists with that preoccupation
Ian Herbert: Peter Moores must go. He should never have been brought back to fail again

Moores must go. He should never have been brought back to fail again

The England coach leaves players to find solutions - which makes you wonder where he adds value, says Ian Herbert
War with Isis: Fears that the looming battle for Mosul will unleash 'a million refugees'

The battle for Mosul will unleash 'a million refugees'

Aid agencies prepare for vast exodus following planned Iraqi offensive against the Isis-held city, reports Patrick Cockburn