Sentamu Close, SE24

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John Tucker Mugabi Sentamu (born June 10, 1949) is the retired Archbishop of York, the second most senior clerical position in the Church of England after that of the Archbishop of Canterbury. He is the first black man to hold such a senior position within the church. However, he is honoured here on account of being the vicar of Holy Trinity Church, for 13 years, during which time he raised £1.6m to restore the church and its organ, and increased the congregation tenfold. Sentamu was born and raised near Kampala, in Uganda. The sixth of 13 children, he was so small that the local bishop was called in to baptise him immediately. But he survived his birth, a sickly childhood, and a famine. He studied law at Makerere University and then worked as a barrister, before becoming a judge in the Uganda High Court. In 1974, he was forced to flee his homeland after criticising Idi Amin’s regime for its human rights violations. Heading to the UK he devoted his time studying theology at Cambridge with a view to returning home after his studies. From 1982 to 1983 he was curate of St Paul, Herne Hill, from 1983 to 1984 he was Priest-in-Charge at Holy Trinity, Tulse Hill, and Parish Priest of St Matthias, Upper Tulse Hill. He then became Vicar of the joint benefice of Holy Trinity and St Matthias from 1984 to 1986. Between 1987 and 1989, he was also Priest-in-Charge of St Saviour, Brixton Hill. He was appointed Bishop of Stepney in 1996. From 1986 to 1992 he served on the Archbishop’s Commission for Urban Priority Areas and he was chairman of the Committee for Minority Ethnic Anglican Concerns between 1990 and 1999. In London, he had special responsibility for evangelism, minority ethnic Anglican concerns, police and community relations, and social justice. In 2002 he was appointed Bishop of Birmingham during which time he served as an adviser to the inquiry into the Stephen Lawrence murder, and chaired the inquiry which criticised police methods following the stabbing of Damilola Taylor. More generally his plain speaking won him a lot of praise both inside and outside the church. He became Archbishop in 2005 and retired in June 2020. This street is laid out over land that was part of the Westmoreland Society’s School entrance at the turn of the 19thCentury.

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