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This is an archived website containing material relating to Dr Rowan Williams’ time as Archbishop of Canterbury, which ended on 31st December 2012

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Archbishop's Role

What is required to be an Archbishop of York ?

 The Crown Nominations Commission saw the role and the qualities of the new Archbishop of York in the following terms:

  • A missionary Archbishop with a vision for and confidence in mission a risk taker, with a clear vision for evangelism in the Province of York, able to see new patterns of ministry for new situations, and a strategist and decision-maker.
  • A man of proven parish experience, committed to a collaborative style of leadership (delegation not abdication).
  • A leader of the Church of England, modelling a collaborative leadership style, in partnership with the Archbishop of Canterbury.
  • An accessible and openhearted pastor, gifted in raising the level of expectancy.
  • A chief pastor of the Province and Diocese.
  • A focus of unity, a bridge-builder and reconciler, in a diverse and multi-faith society, and a watchman for the north. A man able to communicate the Gospel with imagination, and with a concern for the poor and for social justice.


Dr John Sentamu Archbishop of York John Sentamu came to the Province of York having grown up in rural Uganda.

He spent the first four years of his ministry in Cambridge and Richmond, fourteen years in inner city parishes in South London, six years as Bishop for Stepney and three years as Bishop for Birmingham, two Episcopal areas which each contain some of the poorest and some of the most affluent areas in the country.  

There he has worked to strengthen the church and to build up the laity in confidence, and has been able to forge strong links with leaders of other faiths.

During his years as a parish priest, he served on the General Synod and its StandingCommittee and other bodies. He was particularly involved in the work of the Archbishop's Commission on Urban Priority Areas, the Committee for Minority Ethnic Anglican Concerns, the Decade of Evangelism Steering Group, and the Archbishops' evangelism initiative, Springboard. As Bishop for Stepney, he also served on the Stephen Lawrence Inquiry Team and chaired the Damilola Taylor Murder Investigation Review.


His stated priorities for ministry have been 'to seek God's rule of justice, righteousness, peace and love; to be part of God's movement of change, meeting real concerns with real life; to reach out to all by standing at the intersection where human need and God's love meet; being willing to take risks and be vulnerable, the servant of others as Christ was servant of all; and praying constantly, sharing in God's groanings and broken-heartedness for his world.'

He is committed to re-connecting the Church of England with England.