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Last Updated: Wednesday, 30 November 2005, 15:20 GMT
First black Archbishop enthroned
The Rt Rev John Sentamu banged on the door of York Minster
The Rt Rev John Sentamu bangs on the door of York Minster
The Rt Rev John Sentamu has become the first black archbishop in the Church of England in a York Minster ceremony of ancient ritual and African dancers.

The enthronement ceremony of the 97th Archbishop of York was witnessed by a 3,000-strong congregation.

They saw Dr Sentamu take his oath on a 1,000-year-old Gospel manuscript and a vivid display of costumes, dancing, singing and drumming.

The 56-year-old led the way wearing a brightly-coloured cope and mitre.

Tree of Life

Its design was based on a picture called the Tree of Life which hangs in his private chapel in Birmingham.

Dr Sentamu, who now holds the second highest post in the Church of England, banged on the door of the huge Gothic cathedral with a pastoral staff made from an olive tree grown in Bethlehem before he was allowed to enter.

During Wednesday's service he was presented with a silver pastoral staff symbolizing the pastoral care of the diocese and province.

It is imperative that the Church regains her vision and confidence in mission, developing ways that will enable the Church of England to reconnect imaginatively with England
The Rt Rev John Sentamu

The staff, known as the Braganza Crozier, has been used in the Minster with little interruption since 1688 and is used by Archbishops when functioning in the cathedral.

The oath is based on a book of the four Gospels, written and decorated by Eadui Basan and other monks of Canterbury in about 1000 and brought to York by Wulfstan, Archbishop from 1003 to 1023.

The Lord Mayor of York led a civic procession through the city before the service began at 1130 GMT.

Bad weather conditions upset royal travel plans for the Duke of Gloucester who had been due to attend the enthronement.

Archbishop Sentamu was educated in Uganda, where he practised as a barrister and was an outspoken critic of Idi Amin's regime, before coming to the UK in 1974.

Celebrate national identity

After his appointment to the post of Archbishop was announced earlier this year, he said he was looking forward to spreading the Christian message.

"It is imperative that the Church regains her vision and confidence in mission, developing ways that will enable the Church of England to reconnect imaginatively with England," he said.

"We just need to reconnect, we just need to revitalise ourselves, we just need a fresh vision."

He has since spoken of his desire to banish homophobia from the Church of England and see the English celebrate their national identity.

"What is it to be English?," he asked. "It is a very serious question. When you ask a lot of people in this country they are very vague.

"Multiculturalism has seemed to imply, wrongly for me, 'Let other cultures be allowed to express themselves but do not let the majority culture at all tell us its glories, its struggles, its joys, its pains'."


BBC NEWS: VIDEO AND AUDIO
See the new Archbishop being enthroned



SEE ALSO:
In pictures: Archbishop enthroned
30 Nov 05 |  In Pictures
Hate mail sent to new archbishop
21 Oct 05 |  North Yorkshire
First black Archbishop confirmed
05 Oct 05 |  North Yorkshire


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