The Church of England's first black Archbishop took up his post at St Mary-le-Bow church in the City of London last night. He was warned by the Archbishop of Canterbury expectation lay "heavy on his shoulders".
Former Bishop for Birmingham Dr John Sentamu, who fled Idi Amin's Uganda, was confirmed as the 97th Archbishop of York. Dr Rowan Williams, who led the service with six senior bishops, said the people of his diocese would be looking to Dr Sentamu to "engage with the great public issues of the day". They were also seeking someone who would be a faithful teacher of the faith and would speak for the north.
Asked afterwards what he had meant, he said: "John has the power of persuading us in the Church of England change really is possible. All of us are committed to that but we need people whose experience... demonstrates this can be done, that it is possible to enthuse people of all kinds from all backgrounds, ethnic communities, or ages with the vision of the Kingdom. That's what we're hoping for."
The hour-long ceremony, with origins in the 4th Century, mixed the modern and medieval. It began with a performance by a group who lead services at a community church in a former Comet superstore in Huddersfield. Andrew Kisumba was handpicked by Dr Sentamu to perform, Your Love Lifts Me Up, to set the mood.
Their spirited rendition, with guests encouraged to join in, was in stark contrast to the legal proceedings of the Confirmation of the Election of Dr Sentamu, which saw Bishops and other officials gather before the altar to approve Letters Patent issued by the Queen.