John Sentamu named as new chair of Christian Aid 40 years after he first delivered charity envelopes

THE former Archbishop of York has spoken of his “honour” after being named as the next head of Christian Aid – the international development agency.

Dr John Sentmau, the former Archbishop of York, has been named as the new chair of Christian Aid.

Ugandan-born Dr John Sentamu will be the first person of African descent to take up the position of Chair in the 75-year history of Christian Aid

Recently enobled, it is Dr Sentamu’s first major appointment since his retirement as Archbishop in the summer of last year.

Sign up to our daily newsletter

The i newsletter cut through the noise

His involvement in Christian Aid can be traced back to 1980 when he delivered envelopes in Richmond, London, as part of the organisation’s appeal for funds – even persuading prison officers to back the cause.

This was Dr John Sentamu during an interview with The Yorkshire Post last summer to mark his retirement as Archbishop of York.

“The staggering response from the long street where I lived, as well as the prison officers, convinced me that the appeal for ‘Life Before Death’ spoke to the generous hearts of my neighbours,” he said.

“In 2004 I visited Herat Province, in Western Afghanistan, to see and encourage Christian Aid workers there. They blew my mind and I rejoiced greatly to discover that they had favour with all the people; and that Christian Aid workers had remained there for well over 25 years!

“To chair the Christian Aid Board, which is deeply committed to eradicating injustice, disadvantage, increasing mutual accountability and its prophetic voice in addressing issues of poverty and power, is a great honour and challenge for me. Please pray for me.”

He succeeds Dr Rowan Williams, the former Archbishop of Canterbury, who says the charity’s work is “far from being done” in the wake of the Government’s cuts to aid spending.

“The next few years will mean we must stand even more firmly for the dignity, equality and justice of all in light of cuts to aid and increasing national self-interest,” said Dr Williams before saying that there are few people better qualified than his successor “to lead and speak out with the moral voice that is needed”.

Support The Yorkshire Post and become a subscriber today. Your subscription will help us to continue to bring quality news to the people of Yorkshire. In return, you’ll see fewer ads on site, get free access to our app and receive exclusive members-only offers. Click here to subscribe.