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This is an archived website containing material relating to Dr Rowan Williams’ time as Archbishop of Canterbury, which ended on 31st December 2012

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Archbishop of Canterbury awards Lambeth Degrees

Tuesday 1st July 2008

The Archbishop of Canterbury, Dr. Rowan Williams, will today preside over a Lambeth Degree award ceremony in Lambeth Palace Chapel. On this occasion he will award ten degrees.

Lambeth Degree Recipients 1st July 2008

Lambeth Degree Recipients 1st July 2008

The Lambeth Degree is a real academic award.  The candidates are exempt from both residential and examination requirements and the special awards are made on merit in recognition of recipients' contribution to religious, academic and public life.

The Archbishop of Canterbury's right to grant degrees is derived from Peter's Pence Act of 1533 which empowered the Archbishop to grant dispensations previously granted by the Pope.  The practice began during the time when attendance at Oxford and Cambridge, the only universities at that time in England, was frequently disrupted by the difficulty of travel or outbreaks of the plague. The Archbishop was empowered to grant exemption from the residential requirements necessary for a degree.

Lambeth degrees can be awarded in Divinity, Law, Arts, Literature, Medicine and Music.

Read more about the Archbishop's Awards and Examinations.

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