He is the 98th Archbishop of York – and his confirmation will be unlike any for his predecessors.
Bishop Stephen Geoffrey Cottrell will be confirmed as Archbishop of York at 11am on Thursday 9 July, in a service broadcast entirely via the Zoom video conference app due to the coronavirus restrictions.
The Archbishop of Canterbury Justin Welby has granted permission for the virtual service to take place.
The service, which had been due to take place in York Minster, will be in two parts: a legal ceremony with readings, prayers and music; and a film marking the start of Bishop Stephen’s ministry as Archbishop of York.
It will include music from York Minster Choir and Manor Church of England Academy School (York).
‘These are difficult times’
Bishop Stephen Cottrell said: “This isn’t quite how I imagined it would begin. It is certainly the first time an Archbishop’s election will have been confirmed via video conference.
“But we’re all having to re-imagine how we live our lives and how we inhabit the world. These are difficult times.
“My hope is that through this service the love of God that is given us in Jesus Christ will shine out, perhaps even to those who while never attending a service in York Minster, might have a look online.”
The Archbishop of Canterbury Justin Welby said: “These are difficult times for everyone, and frightening and painful times for many. But we believe as strongly as ever that Jesus is the light that shines in the darkness.
“I pray that this new beginning for Bishop Stephen as he becomes Archbishop of York is also a moment that refreshes our hope, deepens our faith and sends us out with new energy to love and serve others in Christ’s name.”
The service will be available on the Church of England website.