News by email Donate


Top Stories

Most Read

Popular Videos

justin welby pa credit kirsty o'connor banner.jpg
justin welby pa credit kirsty o'connor.jpg
Kirsty O'Connor/ PA
UK News

Church must live with history of 'saints and slave-traders', archbishop says

Being a Christian in the Church of England means living with "baggage" which includes "saints and slave-traders", the Archbishop of Canterbury has said.

Justin Welby said the Church has an inheritance "to be reformed, to be repented of, to be imitated" during a virtual service on Thursday for the Confirmation of Election of Stephen Cottrell as the 98th holder Archbishop of York.

The 98th Archbishop of York, Bishop Stephen Geoffrey Cottrell at York Minster following his confirmation of election. Photo credit: Peter Byrne/ PA

The archbishop also acknowledged that the "ravages of the coronavirus" have shaken the foundations of our society to their core.

In his address following the formal election ceremony, Mr Welby said: "Living as a Christian requires us to live not only in fellowship with Christians around the world but, also, with the Church throughout time, in practice that draws us into traditional and inherited patterns.

"With the Church of England we know that some of those bring baggage.

"We find saints and slave-traders, the proud and prelatical, with the humble servant of the people.

"They are part of us, of our inheritance, to be reformed, to be repented of, to be imitated."

The archbishop told those watching online: "We gather together during a time of uncertainty when many are suffering, many are fearful and the foundations of our society have been shaken to their core by the ravages of the coronavirus.

"The whole church is committed to pray for all those who have been affected and continue to be affected by this pandemic; Jesus told us to keep on praying and not to lose heart."

Referring to the unusual circumstances of the service, Mr Welby said: "Even though this ministry begins today in a digital environment, it will be earthed in the world that Christ came to save."

Mr Cottrell, who has been Bishop of Chelmsford, succeeded Dr John Sentamu as the second most senior cleric in the Church of England, after the legal proceedings were completed during the service, which has been adapted due to the pandemic.

The 98th Archbishop of York, Bishop Stephen Geoffrey Cottrell, takes up the historic Braganza crozier at York Minster following his confirmation of election. Photo credit: Peter Byrne/ PA

He is due to undertake the custom of knocking three times on the west door of the Minster with the Braganza crozier, his staff of office, which is normally part of the now-deferred enthronement service.

The new archbishop was born in Leigh-on-Sea, Essex, in 1958 and is married to Rebecca, a potter.

They have three sons.

A Monthly Gift Of $11 Makes A World Of Difference

In a world of fake news there’s never been a greater need for quality Christian journalism. Premier’s mission is to provide the Church with the most up to date and relevant news, told from a Christian perspective. But we can’t do it without you.

Unlike many websites we haven't put up a paywall — we want to keep our journalism free at the point of need and as open as we can. Premier’s news output takes a lot of time, money and hard work to produce. No one in the USA is sharing news like we are across radio, magazines and online so please help us to continue that today.

For a monthly gift of $11 or more we’d also be able to send you a free copy of the brand new Premier Bible, a wonderful Anglicised version of the NLT packed with exclusive bonus content, reading plan and resources to help you get the most out of scripture.

Your monthly support will make a world of difference. Thank you.

Support Us
Continue the conversation on our Facebook page

Related Articles

Sign up to our newsletter to stay informed with news from a Christian perspective.

News by email