June 20th, 2005

John Sentamu

The newly appointed Archbishop of York, John Sentamu, has given an interview attacking homophobia in the church. Good for him!

And now for a little reflected glory. I was at college with the guy- Westcott house, Cambridge, 1973-76. Trouble is the glory ends there- I can't come up with a single anecdote- I guess we just didn't move in the same circles. (Actually, I didn't move in any circles at all- I was more the moody, doomed, outsider type.) I remember him as cheerful and toothy- and somewhere in the archives there's a photograph of his equally cheerful wife, Margaret, enjoying a picnic lunch with my first wife, Becky, on the lawn of the old vicarage where we had our student digs.

(Ah, the old vicarage! It was a tumble-down ruin- it's been demolished since- but it had a garden full of the most amazing, long-established apple-trees, including some rare if not otherwise extinct Victorian varieties.)

Sentamu has a reputation for standing up to dictators. He came to Cambridge as a refugee from Idi Amin's Uganda and recently opposed Tony Blair's war in Iraq. It doesn't seem as if time and high office have blanded him out any.

So, well done the Church of England! Now how about appointing some women bishops?