Det spørs om ikke utnevnelsen av John Sentanu til den anglikanske kirkes første svarte erkebisp er en historisk dag, ikke bare for britene, men hele den vestlige kristenheten.
«The trouble with virtually all forms of revolutions and modernising strategies is that they change everything except the human heart,» Sentamu, wearing brightly coloured robes, told the 3,000-strong congregation.
«The scandal of the church is that the Christ event is no longer life changing. It has become life enhancing,» Sentamu said. «And we’ve become consumers of religion and not disciples of Jesus Christ.»
He regretted the «loss of this country’s long tradition of Christian wisdom, which brought to birth the English nation, the loss of wonder and amazement that Jesus Christ has authority over every aspect of our lives and our nation.»
He called for the «recovery of a sense of beyondness in the whole of life, revive the spring of wonder and adoration.»
Sentamu is a popular, socially liberal figure who led Church opposition to the Iraq war, as well as a leading activist on racism and inner-city crime.
In a newspaper interview in October, Sentamu said he would be happy to ordain women bishops if the Church of England changed its rules to allow it and condemned the way some members of the Anglican communion had spoken of gay men and lesbians.
Hans oppvekst og bakgrunn er også noe ganske annet enn det dagens europeere er vant til:
When John Sentamu was born, the sixth of thirteen children, near Kampala in Uganda in 1949 he was so small the local bishop was called in to baptise him immediately. He survived his birth, a sickly childhood and a famine to become, a mere twenty-five years later, a judge in the Uganda High Court.
In 1974 he managed to get a visa to leave Uganda and come to Britain where he studied theology with a view to returning to the Ugandan justice system at the end of his studies. However, when his friend the Ugandan Archbishop Janani Luwum was murdered he vowed ‘You kill my friend, I take his place’ and he was ordained in 1979. He served in parishes in Cambridge and London, and was vicar of Holy Trinity Church in South London for thirteen years during which time he raised £1.6 million to restore his church and its organ as well as increasing his congregation ten fold.
Europeere har lett for å føle at kristendommen har løpt linen ut, og at Europa har mistet sin identitet. Men kanskje fornyelsen av kristendommen kommer fra Afrika. Det er i sannhet et stort tankekors, at svarte biskoper nå skal fortelle europeere om hvorfor deres fremstilling av kristendommen er blitt gold og steril.