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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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Announcement of Dr Rowan Williams as the 104th Archbishop of Canterbury

Tuesday 23rd July 2002

10 Downing Street, the office of the UK Prime Minister, made the formal announcement of the appointment of Dr Williams as Archbishop of Canterbury. This announcement was made immediately afterwards.

23 July 2002

The Queen has nominated Dr Rowan Williams to be the 104th Archbishop of Canterbury.

He will succeed Dr George Carey who is retiring at the end of October after eleven and a half years as Archbishop.

Dr Williams, aged 52, is currently Archbishop of Wales and Bishop of Monmouth. He is expected to be enthroned as Archbishop of Canterbury in the early part of 2003.

He said today: "An enormous trust has been placed in my hands, and I can only approach it with a degree of awe as well as gratitude that I have been thought worthy of it. Archbishop Carey has set a very high standard in his selfless work for unity and understanding within the Anglican Communion; I shall have a fine example to follow as I learn how to approach this task.

"I hope with all my heart that I can serve to nurture confidence and conviction in our Church, and to help Christian faith to capture the imagination of our people and our culture.

"My wife and I have been supported by the generous prayers and good wishes of so many people, and we want to express our thanks for such support: this is not a job to be undertaken in solitary splendour! I have much to learn, and hope that I shall discover how God is leading the Anglican Church, and how I can best co-operate with that leading."

Dr Carey, who is currently in the United States, issued the following statement: "I greet the news that the Archbishop of Wales, Dr Rowan Williams, has accepted Her Majesty's offer of the post of Archbishop of Canterbury with joy.

"Rowan will bring to this demanding office great abilities as a theologian and as an experienced Primate of the Anglican Communion. He and his wife, Jane, can count on my support and that of my wife, Eileen, as well as our prayers and good wishes in the days ahead."

The Archbishop of York, Dr David Hope, said: "I look forward to working with Rowan Williams as Archbishop of Canterbury and assure him and his family of my prayers at this time.

"The relationship between the two archbishops of Canterbury and York has traditionally been important. I hope that together we may develop a creative and collaborative partnership in the service of the whole church and for the fulfilment of the ministry and mission entrusted to us all."

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