The Queen has approved the nomination of the Rt Revd Stephen Cottrell as the next Archbishop of York, Downing Street has announced.

Read full story on the Church of England website

Bishop Stephen, currently Bishop of Chelmsford, will succeed Dr John Sentamu who retires in June of next year.

A renowned preacher, author and communicator, he will be the 98th occupant of the see of York - in a line of succession dating back to St Paulinus in 627AD.

As Primate of England and Metropolitan of the Province of York, he will share in the leadership of the Church of England in partnership with the Archbishop of Canterbury, Justin Welby, at a time of change and challenge for both the Church and the country.

He said: “I am humbled and excited at the prospect of becoming the 98th Archbishop of York.

“I will receive the baton from Archbishop Sentamu. These aren’t just big shoes to fill, but a big heart and a big vision.

“However, I am not daunted. Archbishop Sentamu and I have worked together in mission on many occasions and I hope to build on the work he has pioneered. Working alongside the Archbishop of Canterbury, I hope to help the church be more joyful and more effective in sharing the gospel and bringing hope and unity to our nation.”

The Bishop of Hull, the Rt Revd Alison White, who was one of six members of the Crown Nominations Commission representing the Diocese of York, responded to the announcement on behalf of the Suffragan Bishops of Whitby, Selby and Beverley:

"This is great news! People across the Diocese have been praying that God would send us the person he is calling to be the next Archbishop of York.

"In Bishop Stephen these prayers are answered and this is joyful news for us.

"We look forward to working with him to make Christ visible in all we do.”

Photo courtesy Diocese of Chelmsford

Please remember Bishop Stephen and Archbishop Sentamu in your prayers in the coming days.

Here are two prayers offered by the Church of England:

Prayer on the announcement of the
Archbishop of York Designate

Generous God, we give you thanks:
you have heard our prayer,
guided your people
and raised up Stephen
to serve as the next Archbishop of York.
By your Holy Spirit, grant to him
good counsel, holy insight and
joy in the gospel,
through Jesus Christ our Lord.

Prayer for Archbishop Sentamu

God of our Pilgrimage,
we give you thanks for your blessings to us all through the ministry of Archbishop Sentamu.
In days of change:
strengthen his faith,
bless him with joyful hope
and fill him and his family with your love
through Christ our Bright Morning Star.