Dear friends in Christ,
Downing Street announced this morning that I am to be the next Archbishop of York. I am humbled and excited to be called to this position of leadership and service in our Church, but I will also be sad at leaving the diocese where I was born and grew up. Being the Bishop of Chelmsford will always be one of the greatest honours of my life.
Please pray for me and for Rebecca as we prepare for this move. Please pray for the Diocese of York and for Archbishop Sentamu as he prepares for his retirement in June. Please pray for the dioceses and communities of the Northern Province and for Archbishop Justin and the whole Church of England.
I don’t know exactly when I will be laying down my responsibilities as your bishop, but I will write again in the New Year with the details of what will be happening.
I love and will always love the diocese of Chelmsford. I love its diversity. I love its creativity. I love its possibility. I will continue to pray for the churches and people of East London and Essex and all who live and serve here; and I give thanks for all the joys I have shared with you these past nine years.
Thank you for the trust you have put in me. As we look forward to Christmas, may the song of peace that the angels sung echo in our hearts and lives and fill us with joy.
The Rt Revd Stephen Cottrell
The Bishop of Chelmsford
Prayers from 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.