Former Archbishop of York Resigns from Christian Aid Chair Position amid Claims He, the COE Mishandled Sex Abuse Allegations

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Lord John Sentamu has stepped down from his role as chairman and trustee of Christian Aid after facing criticism for how he and the Church of England handled historic abuse claims.

According to The Christian Post, a review found that Sentamu and other senior Church of England clergy failed to act on claims of sexual abuse and rape about a Church of England vicar. Sentamu served as archbishop of York during the time of the claims.

“Following the publication of the independent lessons learnt review into the Church of England’s handling of allegations against the late Rev Trevor Devamanikkam, and the response of those criticised, the Bishop of Newcastle, Helen-Ann Hartley, having taken appropriate advice, yesterday required Lord Sentamu, honorary assistant bishop in Newcastle Diocese, to step back from active ministry until both the findings and his response can be explored further,” said a statement from the Diocese of Newcastle.

Sentamu denied the review’s findings and said they “demonstrated a lack of necessary understanding regarding the operation of dispersed authority in the Church of England.”

However, Sentamu was then asked to resign his role as honorary assistant bishop in the Diocese of Newcastle.

Sentamu, who has served as chairman of the relief and development organization Christian Aid since November 2021, also announced his resignation from his post with the organization, saying he didn’t want to be a “distraction.”

“We are very grateful for the 18 months of faithful and energetic leadership that Sentamu has given to Christian Aid,” said Patrick Watt, chief executive of Christian Aid. “Given recent events, we understand the reasons for his resignation.

“During his tenure, Sentamu gave generously of his time, as he steered the organization through a change of chief executive, and a review of its strategy. He has played a critical role in our campaigning on climate justice, and on a just peace for Ukraine, and has brought Christian Aid’s work to the attention of new audiences.”

Vice Chairwoman Maggie Swinson has been appointed interim chairwoman until a final selection is made.

Photo courtesy: ©Getty Images/WPA Pool

Amanda Casanova is a writer living in Dallas, Texas. She has covered news for since 2014. She has also contributed to The Houston Chronicle, U.S. News and World Report and She blogs at The Migraine Runner.

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