The Archbishop of York has issued a statement in response to the retirement of Bishop James.
The Archbishop of York, Dr John Sentamu, has said:
“I want to pay tribute to Bishop James for the way in which he has led the Diocese of Liverpool in mission for the past fifteen years. He has built up a strong team committed to evangelism and growing the church in spiritual life, in numbers, and in effective service to the wider community.
His contribution to public life has been immense, particularly in his battle for justice for the families of the 96 people who lost their lives at Hillsborough. His Chairing of the Hillsborough Independent Panel helped bring the truth to the surface and I know that will never be forgotten in Liverpool, and across the country.
In Liverpool he has been a strong advocate for the environment, and has led the church in its engagement not only in campaigning but also in taking its own practical steps towards environmental substainability. Chairing the Independent Panel on Forestry, he has made a significant contribution to the protection and future care of woodland Britain. On issues such as urban regeneration and prison reform, he has pressed for reform on behalf of the churches, to respond to the needs of the marginalised and the dispossessed.
In the best tradition of Bishops of Liverpool he has led the church in mission demonstrating the love of Christ both in word and action.”