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Archbishop marks his last day with an online service

by Michael Ford last modified 16 Jun, 2020 05:23 PM

The Most Revd and Rt Hon John Sentamu was joined by representatives of charities he founded, in the weekly online service for the Church of England marking his last day as Archbishop of York on 7th June 2020.

In the service led by Revd Hannah Madin of St Mary’s and Holy Apostles Scarborough, Dr Sentamu reflected on his lifetime of Christian faith.

The service began with an archive recording by BBC TV of the opening hymn at Archbishop Sentamu’s 2005 inauguration service at York Minster The God of Abraham Praise.

It concluded with a 2019 recording of Alle Alle Alle – a Jamaican melody adapted by the Archbishop in 1985 and verses based on the “I Am” sayings of Jesus of Nazareth. The song is performed by children from Heworth Church of England Primary School in York. The Archbishop joins in by playing congas.

The service heard contributions from the Archbishop of York Youth Trust, which nurtures leadership skills and character virtues in children and young people, and Acts 435, an online giving charity providing small grants to people living in poverty. Both charities were founded more than a decade ago by the Archbishop.

Jenny Herrera of Acts 435 said the charity has distributed £2 million in small grants to 22,000 people in need since it was founded:

“We are well placed for such a time as this to meet so many different needs, whether that be a mobile phone for an isolated person living alone, support for someone suddenly out of a job without savings and awaiting Universal Credit, or a tablet to enable a child to keep accessing school learning from home.

“This is alongside the ongoing general needs that people in our country are facing. We have been humbled to see our donors give even more generously at this time.”

Dan Finn, from the Archbishop of York Youth Trust, spoke of how its Young Leaders Award has reached more than 100,000 children and young people. Over the past 2 years, as the work of the Youth Trust has begun to spread across the whole country, more than 20,000 young people have completed over 100,000 hours of volunteering and social action in their communities as part of the charity’s work.

Other contributors to the service included broadcaster and newsreader Huw Edwards who read George Herbert’s poem Love Bade Me Welcome, with prayers read by Archbishop Sentamu’s wife, Revd Margaret Sentamu.

The service was interpreted into British Sign Language throughout and subtitles were available. All the contributions were recorded separately in accordance with the rules on physical distancing.

An audio service of Night Prayer for Sunday led by Archbishop Sentamu will also feature in the Church of England’s Time to Pray podcast. The service includes a reading by Mrs Sentamu as well as music from the University of York Singers recorded in the chapel at Bishopthorpe Palace last year.

Both services are available online and on the Church of England’s smartspeaker apps.

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