Concerns raised over newly named Archbishop of York


It was announced today that the Right Reverend Stephen Cottrell will become the next Archbishop of York. Stephen Cottrell is the current Bishop of Chelmsford.

Earlier this year, Rev. John Parker resigned as governor of a Church of England (CofE) primary school in the diocese of Chelmsford over concerns about a young child being allowed to transition gender in the school. John Parker also resigned as vicar in the CofE, citing the diocese’s support of transgender ideology in the primary school as the final straw.

The diocese, and the Bishop, unequivocally supported the ‘gender transition’ of a primary school child.

Bishop Stephen Cottrell had previously told John Parker that his Biblical views on sexuality were not welcome in the Church of England and that he “could leave.”

Stephen Cottrell denied this on Twitter, and later in a formal Ad Clerum.

It then emerged that other clergy in the diocese had also been told that they could leave the CofE if they did not agree with the approach of the diocese on sexuality. A statement was released by GAFCON. It said:

“The truth is that Stephen Cottrell has, on more than one occasion, told clergy, including John Parker, that if we disagree with the approach the Diocese is taking on matters of human sexuality we should follow our consciences and leave. There were more than thirty clergy at one of the meetings.”

Stephen Cottrell has also suggested in the House of Lords that CofE teaching on marriage could change.

A church in Stephen Cottrell’s diocese that is hosting a carol service and nativity in which the words of carols have been changed so as to avoid saying that Jesus is Lord or King or Saviour. A diocese spokesperson has endorsed removing all references to Jesus as ‘Lord’ from Away in a Manger.

Andrea Williams, Synod Member and Chief Executive of Christian Concern said:

“Promoting Stephen Cottrell to Archbishop of York makes clear the direction of travel of the CofE.

“This is a Bishop who endorses gender transition in primary school children.

“Stephen Cottrell has told multiple clergy on multiple occasions that if they don’t like the approach of the diocese on human sexuality they can leave the CofE.

“Stephen Cottrell has attempted to deny this, but there are more than thirty clergy who know what they heard him say on multiple occasions.

“Stephen Cottrell has held out the prospect of the CofE doctrine of marriage changing.

“This is not a Bishop who respects Biblical truth when it comes to human sexuality or marriage.

“Several clergy in Stephen Cottrell’s diocese are out of communion with him because of his stance on human sexuality. One resigned over this. For him now to be appointed as Archbishop of York is a final insult to those who want to hold onto Biblical teaching in the CofE.

“It is now clearer than ever that the CofE is determined to act in total disregard of those who hold the basic truths that God created us male and female and that sexual expression is reserved for marriage between a man and a woman.

“Stephen Cottrell’s diocese is prepared to host a carol service and nativity which actually changes the words of carols to avoid saying that Jesus is Lord, King or Saviour. What will he endorse as Archbishop of York?

“The appointment of Stephen Cottrell as Archbishop of York is another marker in the sad and sorry decline of the Cof E and its willingness to depart from clear Biblical teaching.”