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Archbishop ‘in waiting’ dispels untrue accusations

Posted on: December 19, 2019 4:33 PM
Bishop Stephen Cottrell
Photo Credit: Church of England

[ACNS, by Rachel Farmer] Bishop Stephen Cottrell, who was named this week as the Archbishop-designate of York, has addressed a number of untrue accusations that were made following the announcement that he will succeed Archbishop John Sentamu.

Following a statement from a pressure group, a spokesperson from the Church of England said: “the accusations made against the Right Reverend Stephen Cottrell are entirely without foundation. It is untrue that Bishop Stephen suggested to a governor of a Church of England School that his views on sexuality were not welcome and he could leave. Bishop Stephen made that clear at the time and subsequently in an Ad Clerum [letter to the clergy]. It is also untrue that Bishop Stephen suggested to any other clergy that they should leave the Church of England. As he is said at his announcement, the Church of England is a Church for all people, welcoming everyone.”

Stephen Cottrell’s appointment as the 98th Archbishop of York, following the retirement of Dr John Sentamu in the summer of 2020, was announced on Tuesday.

The statement goes on to state that the bishop, who is currently the Bishop of Chelmsford, “upholds the teaching of the Church of England that recognises marriage as being between one man and one woman.

“Bishop Stephen has not endorsed gender transitioning in and of itself for children but has pastoral concern for any child affected by gender dysphoria.”

A statement from Christian Concern had questioned his respect for biblical truth. But the Church of England statement said: “He holds biblical truth as sacred and is in all matters guided by the gospel.
Speaking at the press conference for his announcement he said ‘What binds us together is not our views on this issue or that issue, what binds us together is our faith in Jesus Christ. We say water is thicker than blood. It is our baptism and our belonging to each other that really matters.’”