BBC News reports here that the Church of England's Archbishop of York, John Sentamu, retires on 7 June 2020. The news report is dated 1 October 2018, which 15 months' notice.

This seems very long, even for such a senior post in the Church of England. Why would an Archbishop give such long notice of retirement?

  • This question is not about Christianity anymore than asking what is the Popes favorite color.
    – 007
    Commented Oct 18, 2018 at 15:33
  • 2
    @kris, I think this is a legit question. It's not asking about why this archbishop gives a long notice (which may be less on point, but still sort of topical). I believe it's asking about the process within the Church of England.
    – Peter Turner
    Commented Oct 18, 2018 at 15:44
  • @peterturner agreed, but it might be better phrased as something like "is this typical practice for bishops in the C of E?" Commented Oct 18, 2018 at 16:37

1 Answer 1


Archbishops in the Church of England, as a rule, must retire on or before their seventieth birthdays. However, in special circumstances, the Queen can grant an extension of up to one year.

Archbishop Sentamu will be 70 on June 10th 2019. In the ordinary course of events therefore he was scheduled to retire on June 10th, 2019, unless he announced he wished to go earlier.

However, the Queen has granted an extension of almost one year, allowing the Archbishop to defer his retirement until the Sunday before his 71st birthday, Trinity Sunday, 7th June, 2020.

The "news" here is not so much that he is retiring in 2020, as that he is not, as originally expected, retiring in 2019. The real news is the extension, but obviously the date that someone is retiring is considered more interesting, and newsworthy, than the date that he is not.

As a rule 20 months notice (October 2018 to June 2020) would not be usual.

  • Good point about the age 70 time limit. That does seem to cover the issue. Thanks, @davidlol Commented Oct 20, 2018 at 18:38

You must log in to answer this question.

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged .