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Archbishop of York’s visit to New York concludes with Ascension Day Service

Posted on: May 9, 2024 1:43 PM
Archbishop Stephen Cottrell during the dedication of the Ledger Stone at St Thomas' Church, New York, on May 5

To mark Ascension Day, the Archbishop of York, from the Church of England, the Most Reverend Stephen Cottrell, is concluding a visit to New York by attending an Ascension Day Evening Mass at St Thomas’ Church, New York (Thursday May 9).

Speaking of the Archbishop’s visit, the Most Revd Michael B. Curry, presiding bishop and primate of the Episcopal Church said: “I am excited about Archbishop Cottrell coming this week.  I consider him not only a colleague, but indeed, a friend. His infectious faith is a witness to the way of love that Jesus taught us, and it is a delight to welcome him here.”

The Archbishop’s official visit to New York began with him blessing a ledger stone designed by York Minster and commemorating the twinning of York and New York cities, which was held at St Thomas’ Church on Fifth Avenue, on May 5.

In summary of his official visit, Archbishop Stephen Cottrell said: “It has been a privilege and an honour to join with others in marking one hundred years of friendship between our two great cities. The messages of unity and partnership we have shared must be cherished. It is the way we will build coalitions of good will and help bring peace and prosperity to our needy and often divided world.” 

As well as the twinning of the two cities, the Archbishop’s visit to the United States has involved several UN, church and community meetings. He has met Dame Barbara Woodward (the UK’s Permanent Representative to the UN), Amina Mohammed (Deputy Secretary General), Dr Martin Kimani (Kenya’s Permanent Representative to the UN), Cardinal Timothy Dolan (the Roman Catholic Archbishop of New York) and Archbishop Gabriele Caccia (the Permanent Observer of the Holy See to the United Nations).

This is significant, as the Anglican Communion maintains a year-round presence at the United Nations to ensure churches’ voices are heard on global issues like, conflict, movement of refugees, gender justice, climate change and to create local partnerships with the UN in response to crises.

Speaking of the Archbishop’s visit, Dr Kimani said: "It was good to meet His Grace, Archbishop Stephen Cottrell, and to explore the vital collaboration between states and religious institutions and leaders to revive multilateralism. It's crucial that the emerging multipolar world honours non-intervention, sovereign equality, peaceful dispute resolution, and the power to hold the mighty accountable while protecting the vulnerable. Achieving this is critical to preventing a global order ruled by might over right." 

Discussing church responses to slavery and racism has also been an important priority on Archbishop Stephen’s visit. He has met with the Bishop of New York, Matthew Heyd, Bishop Mary Glasspool and with members of the Diocesan Reparations Commission.  He also met with Fr Tim Kesicki, President of the Jesuit Conference in Canada and the US, and heard testimony from Ms Monique Maddox, a descendent of Jesuit slaveholding and Head of the Descendants Truth & Reconciliation Foundation.

Bishop Mary Glasspool, Assistant Bishop in the Episcopal Diocese of New York, added: “It was wonderful to meet with Archbishop Stephen and introduce him to members of the Diocesan Reparations Commission.  We are looking to establish a whole new way of life that allows justice and well being for all within the diocese and beyond.”

At St Patrick’s Cathedral, Archbishop Stephen met with Fr. Ryan Muldoon, Director of the Office of Ecumenical and Interreligious Dialogue for the Roman Catholic Archdiocese and joined in supporting an ecumenical lunchtime feeding programme.

For more information:

Stream of Ascension Day Mass 5.30pm EST 9 May

Stream of Festal Evensong including the unveiling of the ledger stone 

Symposium focussed on Church and Civil Society: Models of Engagement

Short video of New York visit