THE Archbishop of York was hailed on both sides of the Commons for his decision to end his ministry as a humble parish priest in Yorkshire.
Dr David Hope, archbishop since 1995, is giv ing up Bishopthorpe Palace near York to become a parish priest after resigning as the Church of England's second most senior clergyman.
Dr Hope, 64, has been appointed as vicar of St Margaret's in Ilkley, and will cease to be Archbishop from February to take up his new post in March next year.
He has made no secret of his long held wish to return to the "real ministry" of parish life - and will take a pay cut of about £40,000 a year.
At question time, Tory Anne McIntosh (Vale of York) congratulated him for providing "such a magnificent lead" by proposing to return to the ministry of rural parish priesthood.
Labour's Sir Stuart Bell (Middlesbrough), representing the Church Commissioners, said Dr Hope had rendered a "signal service" to the Church over many years.
"In his role as archbishop he will be sadly missed. I am sure that his continued search for the saviour of souls through the parish church is most welcome," he said.