Wednesday, November 30, 2005


High hopes for new archbishop.
By Robert Pigott, - BBC Religious Affairs correspondent.

Dr Sentamu has the second highest post in the Church of England. The Church of England has celebrated the appointment of its first black archbishop with a feast of sound and colour at York Minster to inaugurate John Sentamu as Archbishop of York.
What is expected of Ugandan-born Dr Sentamu now he is the Church's second in command? Never before has an archbishop approached his new cathedral with a fanfare to match John Sentamu's - a boat up the River Ouse to the beat of African drums, a walk through the medieval streets of York to the Minster and a service including a Ugandan dance of rejoicing.
No enthronement has echoed to drums and lilting African songs and then ended with the release of doves and balloons.
But never before has the Church of England had a black archbishop, let alone one born in Uganda before exile in Britain and a meteoric rise through the ecclesiastical ranks. Nor, perhaps, one on whom so many hopes have been pinned. The new archbishop has himself acknowledged the church is in a 'trough'.
Even the commission that chose him acknowledged that it was looking for a man who could reconnect the Church of England with England. A secular age has produced a drift away from the Church, both from its pews, and its moral message.
It has become badly divided, especially in the wider Communion over how far it should adapt its values to chime with contemporary life.


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