17 December 2019 12:43
The next Archbishop of York will be a serving senior cleric who famously demanded the Church of England shakes its middle class 'M&S image' because Jesus would also have used Aldi or Asda, it was revealed today. Stephen Cottrell, the current Bishop of Chelmsford who has three children with his wife Rebecca, a professional potter, will take up the role when Dr John Sentamu stands down in June next year. There had been speculation that the second most senior job in the Church of England, led by the Archbishop of Canterbury Justin Welby, would go to a woman bishop. Bishop Cottrell, seen as a reformer, said today he was 'humbled and excited at the prospect of becoming the 98th Archbishop of York - 1392 years after the first one was appointed in 627AD. The next Archbishop of York will be the current Bishop of Chelmsford, Stephen Cottrell, whose appointment was approved by the Queen (pictured together in Chelmsford in 2014) Dr John Sentamu, who cut up his collar in 2007 over Robert Mugabe's rule in Zimbabwe and put it back a decade later when Mugabe's regime fell He said: 'I will receive the baton from Archbishop Sentamu.
These aren't just big shoes to fill, but a big heart and a big vision. 'However, I am not daunted. Archbishop Sentamu and I have worked together in mission on many occasions and I hope to build on the work he has pioneered. Bishop Cottrell was ordained as a deacon in 1984 and as a priest in 1985 and has been vocal in demanding that the Church of England reforms and becomes less middle class 'Working alongside the Archbishop of Canterbury, I hope to help the church be more joyful and more effective in sharing the gospel and bringing hope and unity to our nation. 'Although I was born and grew up in Essex, I lived and served in Huddersfield for nine years. I know and love the north of England. Two of our children were born there. 'I now look forward to returning and being a voice for the North, sharing the liberating good news of the gospel and helping to address the discrepancies of wealth and opportunity that too often favour the South.' Bishop Cottrell was ordained as a deacon in 1984 and as a priest in 1985. He is described on his website as a keen writer, with interests in reading, cooking and music. In 2009, Bishop Cottrell said the church needed to get rid of its middle class image. He said: 'Even today I meet people who think you have to be highly educated or suited and booted to be a person who goes to church. 'That's so frustrating. How did it come to this, that we have become known as just the Marks & Spencer option when in our heart of hearts we know that Jesus would just as likely be in the queue at Asda or Aldi?' The role of Archbishop of York, based at the city's famous Minster, dates back to St Paulinus in 627AD Incumbent Archbishop of York, Dr John Sentamu, who is standing down from the role next summer, said: 'Bishop Stephen Cottrell has the Gospel in his belly and a tiger in the tank. 'I am glad he is returning to the northern province where he with others developed the Emmaus course for evangelism, nurture and discipleship. His greatest passion is to share the Gospel with everyone in a friendly and accessible way. 'His nomination as my successor has gladdened my heart and he can rely on my prayers. 'He and Rebecca will find a warm welcome here at Bishopthorpe and throughout the northern province.'