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World News

Lord Sentamu resigns from Christian Aid role as recent controversies 'a distraction'

by Sophie Drew

Former Archbishop of York Rt Rev John Sentamu has resigned from his role at a globally-renowned Christian charity over fears recent controversies could be a “distraction”.

Christian Aid, a charity which delivers humanitarian assistance to those in need across the world, released a statement today saying Sentamu, who had served an 18 month term, was concerned that recent headlines would "distract from the vital work of Christian Aid." 

Sentamu’s departure comes following a report found he failed to act on disclosures made following a historic case of sexual abuse against a young boy, committed by another priest. Last month, he was ordered to step back from active ministry.

Patrick Watt, Chief Executive of Christian Aid, said: “We are very grateful for the 18 months of faithful and energetic leadership that Sentamu has given to Christian Aid. Given recent events, we understand the reasons for his resignation. 

“During his tenure Sentamu gave generously of his time, as he steered the organisation through a change of Chief Executive, and a review of its strategy. He has played a critical role in our campaigning on climate justice and on a just peace for Ukraine, and has brought Christian Aid’s work to the attention of new audiences.  

“Sentamu recently visited Sierra Leone where he saw first-hand the work of Christian Aid’s partners and met with government and religious leaders to discuss our programmes to strengthen women’s political participation, support livelihoods, and promote community peacebuilding. His visit reinforced our relationships in the country, and inspired staff and partners.”

The charity stated that Vice-chair Maggie Swinson will step into the role on an interim basis with immediate effect.

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