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New Archbishop of York takes seat in House of Lords

by Press Association

The new Archbishop of York Stephen Cottrell has taken his seat in the House of Lords.

It marks a return to the upper chamber for the Church of England’s second most senior clergyman, who already had a place on the red benches in his former post as the Bishop of Chelmsford.

Mr Cottrell, who was enthroned as the 98th Archbishop of York on Sunday, took over the role from John Sentamu.

He was among those to criticise the failure to give a life peerage to Mr Sentamu, who retired on June 7, as is customary.

The Government was accused of “institutional prejudice” over Britain’s first black archbishop not being automatically ennobled.

Following the controversy, the 71-year-old is now expected to receive a life peerage imminently, enabling him to continue sitting in the Lords in a personal capacity.

Mr Cottrell was also the signatory to a recent joint letter by the UK’s archbishops which warned the Government’s controversial new Brexit legislation, enabling ministers to break international law, could set “a disastrous precedent”.

The 62-year-old was supported by the Archbishop of Canterbury Justin Welby and the Bishop of London Sarah Mullally as he swore the oath of allegiance to the Queen during the short introduction ceremony in the Lords.

He is among the 26 lords spiritual who have their places reserved in the upper house for Church of England bishops.

The married father-of-three began his ministry at Christchurch in Forest Hill, south-east London, in 1985, before moving to the dioceses of Chichester and Wakefield.

He was nominated area Bishop of Reading in 2004, where he served for six years before becoming Bishop of Chelmsford in 2010.

A founding member of the Church of England’s College of Evangelists, the new archbishop chairs a group of bishops with an interest in the media and is one of the authors of the Church of England’s Pilgrim Course, a major teaching and discipleship resource.

He also chairs the Board of Church Army, an organisation based in Sheffield committed to evangelism and social justice.

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