THE Archbishop of York, Dr John Sentamu, has made another key appointment to his team.

Canon Peter Collier QC, of York, has become the Chancellor of the Diocese of York, following the retirement earlier this year of His Honour Judge Thomas Coningsby QC.

The principal role of a Chancellor is the responsibility for the faculty jurisdiction, which is the Church of England's equivalent of planning permission.

Any significant addition or alteration to the fabric, fixtures and fittings of a church requires permission in the form of a faculty.

The power to grant faculties is shared between the Chancellor and the Archdeacons. They are advised by the Diocesan Advisory Committee For The Care Of Churches.

Mr Collier, 58, pictured left, said: "It's a great privilege to be invited to become the Chancellor for the York Diocese.

"I am very conscious that in that role I am following a long line of illustrious ecclesiastical lawyers.

"I believe that my experience in Wakefield and Lincoln - two dioceses which are very different from each other - will have prepared me for the challenges and opportunities presented by the York Diocese.

"I look forward to working with all of those in the Diocese who are responsible for helping congregations and communities both to care for their churches and to ensure that they are fit for their purpose as centres of mission, worship and pastoral care."

Mr Collier specialises in criminal and child care law, and is currently Head of Chambers at Sovereign Chambers, Leeds.

He has held three previous legal posts in the Church of England, first as Deputy Chancellor for the Diocese of Derby in 1983, and then as Chancellor of the Dioceses of Wakefield and Lincoln.

He is resigning both these posts in order to commit himself to the Diocese of York.

On moving to York on 1972, Mr Collier became an active member of St Cuthbert's Church, whose congregation later moved to St Michael-le-Belfrey Church, beside York Minster.

He has held many positions of responsibility at St Michael-le-Belfrey, and currently serves as a Reader (a licenced lay minister).

He is married to the Rev Doctor Susan Collier (a priest in the Diocese of York since 1999). They have two sons, aged 31 and 28.

Dr Sentamu said: "Peter Collier will be a wise and delightful Chancellor.

"He will make judgments in the light of a wealth of legal knowledge and experience and, above all, in the light of a deep Christian faith and commitment to the church's work of spreading the news of God's justice and love.

"I thank God for the gifts Peter brings, and I will be praying that his wisdom will continue to grow and to be a blessing for the Diocese of York."