Thanks to coronavirus, and despite him being a neighbour, we know very little about the new Archbishop of York, Stephen Cottrell, since he took office as, like most of us, he’s been locked up behind closed palace doors.

Well, all that changed dramatically when he had to step in at very short notice to lead the service at St Paul’s Cathedral of The Queen’s Service of Thanksgiving as part of the Platinum Jubilee celebrations. This was because unfortunately the Archbishop of Canterbury went down with covid - necessitating the instant promotion.

I had no need to worry as I was so impressed with Archbishop Cottrell’s sermon - it was wonderful. It captured the very essence of The Queen. It was very down to earth and personal with a lovely sense of humour, mentioning The Derby race, her love of horses, still being in the saddle and her faith that has seen her through difficult times. How refreshing and un-stuffy and the Archbishop should be congratulated. He came over as very warm and human and I hope we see much more of him going forward.

It was sad that Her Majesty could not be in the congregation but I’m sure she will have been very touched by his words watching it on her television.

Keith Massey, Bishopthorpe