A FORMER Archbishop of York, Dr John Habgood, has died.

The current Archbishop, Dr John Sentamu, paid tribute today to Dr Habgood, saying: “As a hugely distinguished scientist, theologian and philosopher, Archbishop Habgood’s faith in Christ gave him a particular perspective and a persuasive witness both to church and nation for his time.

“His many books simplified big and complex questions, revealing an incredibly perceptive intellect. I’m very glad to have confirmed his grandchildren and dedicated a room in his honour at Bishopthorpe Palace.

“His towering presence, physical, intellectual, and spiritual, was a gift to all who knew him. My prayers are with his family at this time. May he Rest in Peace, and rise in glory.”

He added that the sad news of Dr Habgood’s death came as northern bishops gather for a Diocesan mission in Liverpool.

The Rt Revd Paul Butler, Bishop of Durham, also paid tribute to his predecessor John Habgood, later Archbishop of York.

Bishop Paul said: "The sad news of John Habgood’s death yesterday calls us to give thanks for his ministry as Bishop of Durham from 1973-83. He was translated to York from here.

"Alongside his leadership of the Diocese through these years his contribution to science and religion was immense. His legacy in this regard continues to be significant in Durham today. His family are in our prayers."