This morning it has been announced that The Right Reverend Stephen Cottrell, Bishop of Chelmsford and co-chair of the St Mellitus College Board, has been nominated as the next Archbishop of York in succession to the Most Reverend and Right Honourable Dr John Sentamu.
Since his appointment as Bishop of Chelmsford in 2010, Bishop Stephen has provided the college with wise counsel and faithful support, encouraging us to respond to missional possibilities and to serve the church in all its variety. Our staff and students have learned much about the gospel from him, and we therefore give thanks for all that Bishop Stephen has contributed to the life of the college, and are excited about what his appointment will mean for the national church.
Revd Dr Andrew Emerton, Dean of St Mellitus College writes:
We are delighted for Bishop Stephen and it is a wonderful appointment for the Church of England. Bishop Stephen has been a brilliant ambassador for St Mellitus College, hugely supportive and a passionate and dedicated co-chair of the board of trustees. Although we will be sad to see him move on from his position on the board and his direct links to the college through Chelmsford Diocese, we look forward to the continuation of our partnership in the gospel under his leadership in the northern province and the wider Church.
On his appointment, Bishop Stephen wrote:
I am humbled and excited at the prospect of becoming the 98th Archbishop of York. 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. 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.
As a national college community, we commit to upholding Bishop Stephen and Rebecca in prayer in this season of transition and as he prepares to take up his new post. Please join us as we pray for them.
Prayers from the Church of England
Prayer on the announcement of the Archbishop of York Designate
Generous God, we give you thanks:
you have heard our prayer,
guided your people
and raised up Stephen
to serve as the next Archbishop of York.
By your Holy Spirit, grant to him
good counsel, holy insight and
joy in the gospel,
through Jesus Christ our Lord.
Prayer for Archbishop Sentamu
God of our Pilgrimage,
we give you thanks for your blessings to us all through the ministry of Archbishop Sentamu.
In days of change:
strengthen his faith,
bless him with joyful hope
and fill him and his family with your love
through Christ our Bright Morning Star.