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Biography of John Tucker Mugabi SENTAMU

Uganda > Social : John Tucker Mugabi SENTAMU

John Tucker Mugabi SENTAMU
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Born on 10/06/1949 (format : day/month/year)

Biography :

Archbishop John Sentamu (b. June 101949) is the  UK's first Black Archbishop. He is the 97th Archbishop of York, Metropolitan of the province of York, and Primate of England. He is the second most senior cleric in the Church of England, after the Archbishop of Canterbury, Rowan Williams.

John Tucker Mugabi Sentamu was born into Uganda's Buffalo Clan near Kampala in 1949. He is the sixth of 13 children.

He weighed only 4lb at birth and was baptised on the day he was born because he was not expected to survive the night.

As a child he thought about studying medicine but he eventually decided to qualify as a barrister.

Encouraged by English missionaries and teachers, he graduated in law from Makere University, Kampala in 1971.

He practised law at the bar and the bench in the High Court of Uganda before fleeing to Britain in 1974 due to persecution under Idi Amin's regime.

Sentamu read theology at Selwyn College, Cambridge. He gained a master's degree and a doctorate before training for ordination at Ridley Hall, Cambridge.

Following his ordination in 1979, the Rev Sentamu served as an assistant chaplain at Selwyn College, Cambridge, later becoming chaplain at Lachmere House remand centre. He also served as a curate at St Andrew's, Ham in Southwark diocese.

He became curate of St Paul's, Herne Hill in 1982 before taking on the parish of Holy Trinity and St Matthias, Tulse Hill the following year.

During this time he attracted new churchgoers with lively sermons, music and dancing in the aisles.

Vicar to bishop
He left parish life behind in 1996 after he was appointed Bishop of Stepney.

As a former judge and Britain's most senior black churchman, he was invited to serve as an advisor on the Stephen Lawrence enquiry. He also chaired the Damilola Taylor Review in 2002.

He was appointed Bishop of Birmingham the same year and became heavily involved with issues affecting the community.

Dr John Sentamu and his wife Margaret ©
He supported and advised workers affected by the closure of the Rover car plant in Birmingham and campaigned against gun crime throughout the Midlands after the killings of cousins Charlene Ellis and Letisha Shakespeare.

Bishop Sentamu was appointed Archbishop of York in June 2005.

He and his wife, Margaret, have two grown-up children, Grace and Geoffrey.


Last update : 09/24/2008

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