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Archbishop of York supports heart unit campaign

Dr John Sentamu Credit: Press Association

The Archbishop of York, Dr John Sentamu, is giving his support to the campaign to keep children's heart surgery in Yorkshire.

Under current plans outlined by the Joint Committee of Primary Care Trusts surgery will move to Newcastle, meaning patients and their families have to travel out of the region for treatment.

The decision is being reviewed by the Health Secretary, Jeremy Hunt, following letters from concerned local authorities.

Heart surgery unit Credit: Calendar

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Archbishop warns defence cuts risk UK's safety

The Archbishop of York has warned that severe defence cuts in Britain will "risk the safety of the nation and the peace of the world".

While delivering his Christmas message to armed forces serving overseas, Dr John Sentamu said Government plans to replace thousands of full-time soldiers with reservists was a bad idea as a "very well trained, professional service" needed to be maintained.

The Archbishop of York, Dr John Sentamu has issued a warning over defence cuts Credit: ITV News

He told the British Forces Broadcasting Service, "My greatest anxiety ... is that these defence cuts need to be done with far, far greater sensitivity because we live still in a world that is very fragile and there are people out there still, wanting to do harm to ... many, many people".

"To replace professionally-trained, full-time serving soldiers with part-timers, I'm afraid, for me, I don't think that can be the backbone of the British Army," the Archbishop continued.

He also paid tribute to the British forces' role as peacekeepers in Afghanistan, calling them "the bravest of the brave", and said he prayed daily for them.

Sentamu misses out

The Archbishop of York, has missed out on becoming the next Archbishop of Canterbury.

Dr Rowan Williams has been in the position as head of the Church of England for 10 years, but steps down at the end of December.

Dr John Sentamu had been a contender for the role, but the Bishop of Durham, Right Reverend Justin Welby, is expected to be confirmed later.

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1,000 celebrate at Whitby Abbey

More than 1,000 people have celebrated the birth of the Christian Church with the Archbishop of York Dr John Sentamu and the Bishop of Whitby, the Rt Rev Dr Martin Warner the ruins of Whitby Abbey.

It is believed to be the first time an archbishop and a bishop have jointly hosted a service at the abbey since its destruction in The Reformation. The archbishop arrived in the harbour below the Abbey in the RNLI Trent-class lifeboat, George and Mary Webb.

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