|John Tucker Mugabi Sentamu was born on 10th June 1949 in a village near Kampala, Uganda.
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He is the Archbishop of York and is the first member of a racial minority to serve as an archbishop in the Church of England.
He is the sixth of thirteen children and was educated for the law at Makerere University and practised as an Advocate of the High Court of Uganda. Sentamu was appointed a High Court judge in 1973 at the age of 24 by the newly-ascendent Idi Amin; his judicial independence earned the dictator's ire, however, and he suffered threats and physical violence before fleeing to the United Kingdom in 1974.
He studied for a doctorate in theology at Ridley Hall, Cambridge, and was ordained as a priest in 1979. He worked as an assistant chaplain at Selwyn College, Cambridge, as a chaplain at a remand centre, and in a series of parish appointments before his 1996 consecration as a bishop to serve as Bishop of Stepney (a suffragan bishop in the Diocese of London). It was during this time that he served as advisor to the Stephen Lawrence Judicial Enquiry. In 2002 he chaired the Damilola Taylor review.
That same year he was appointed Bishop of Birmingham, where his ministry, according to the Archbishop of Canterbury, Rowan Williams, was praised by "Christians of all backgrounds". On 17 June 2005 the Prime Minister's office announced his translation to York. On 21 July he was formally elected by the Canons of York Minster and on 5 October installed as Archbishop at a small ceremony in London. He actually began his work in his new see after being enthroned at York Minster on 30 November 2005 (the feast of Saint Andrew). His enthronement was remarkable as it combined the sombre church protocol of enthronement with African singing and dancing and contemporary worship music. The Archbishop himself played African drums during the service. In an unprecendented step, Archbishop Sentamu also opted for the distribution of picnic bags for all who attended the service.
In an interview a week before his enthronement he, among other things, called for a rediscovery of English pride and cultural identity, warning that zeal for multiculturalism had sometimes "seemed to imply, wrongly for me, 'let other cultures be allowed to express themselves but do not let the majority culture at all tell us its glories, its struggles, its joys, its pains'." (The Times amongst others) Just as at Birmingham, Sentamu has expressed a desire to be known informally as Archbishop for York (rather than of).
Early in 2006, Archbishop Sentamu was featured prominently in the British press for his comments on what he saw as injustices over the treatment of alleged prisoners of war in Guantanamo Bay.
Archbishop Sentamu is to camp in York Minster and forego food for a week from August 14, 2006 in solidarity with those impacted by the Middle East conflict