Archbishop of Canterbury to be Master of Magdalene College, Cambridge
Friday 16th March 2012Archbishop Rowan Williams has announced his acceptance of the position of Master of Magdalene College, Cambridge with effect from January 2013. He will therefore be stepping down from the office of Archbishop of Canterbury at the end of December 2012.
Dr Williams’ intentions have been conveyed to The Queen, who is Supreme Governor of the Church of England and who formally appoints the Archbishop of Canterbury.
Dr Williams was appointed the one hundred and fourth Archbishop of Canterbury in 2002. He said today:
It has been an immense privilege to serve as Archbishop of Canterbury over the past decade, and moving on has not been an easy decision. During the time remaining there is much to do, and I ask your prayers and support in this period and beyond. I am abidingly grateful to all those friends and colleagues who have so generously supported Jane and myself in these years, and all the many diverse parishes and communities in the Church of England and the wider Anglican Communion that have brought vision, hope and excitement to my own ministry. I look forward, with that same support and inspiration, to continuing to serve the Church’s mission and witness as best I can in the years ahead.
Dr Williams will continue to carry out all the duties and responsibilities of the Archbishop of Canterbury, both for the Church of England and the Anglican Communion, until the end of the year.
The Crown Nominations Commission will consider in due course the selection of a successor.
Some recent highlights of the Archbishop's time in office follow:
Archbishop Rowan is first and foremost a priest and Christian teacher in the Diocese of Canterbury and the country as a whole. As Archbishop he shares Christian teaching with the widest possible range of enquirers.
Thurs 23rd Feb 2012 - Archbishop Rowan Williams, Professor Richard Dawkins and Sir Anthony Kenny discuss "The nature of human beings and the question of their ultimate origin."
Fri 22nd Apr 2011 - When his six-year-old daughter, Lulu, wrote a letter to God, journalist Alex Renton did his best to get her an answer.
Fri 17 Sept 2010 - Pope Benedict XVI visited Archbishop Rowan Williams at the Archbishop's London home, Lambeth Palace.
The Archbishop of Canterbury is the head of the Established Church in England. At times of national celebration or solemn reflection, he leads the nation's prayers.
Weds 15th Feb 2012 - Archbishop Rowan Williams hosted a multi-faith reception for Her Majesty the Queen and the Duke of Edinburgh at Lambeth Palace.
Fri 11th Nov 2011 - The Archbishop preached at the Act of Remembrance in the churchyard of St Bartholomew’s Fleet Air Arm Memorial Church.
Thurs 21st Apr 2011 - in a video filmed shortly before the Royal Wedding, the Archbishop talks about the sense of hopefulness and generosity which lie at the heart of marriage.
Fri 9th Oct 2009 - In a service of commemoration at St Paul's Cathedral to mark the end of military operations in Iraq, the Archbishop questioned the morality of the war.
Politics shapes how we live together in society. Archbishop Rowan offers the wisdom of Christian teaching and ethical reflection in public debates that affect us all.
Fri 9th Dec 2011 - The Archbishop spoke in the House of Lords about Christians in the Middle East, saying that their position was 'more vulnerable than it has been for centuries'.
Mon 28th Nov 2011 - The Archbishop gave evidence on the Draft Bill on House of Lords Reform, saying that the Second Chamber needed to 'represent the diversity of non-partisan civil society'.
Tues 1st Nov 2011 - The Archbishop on the 'widespread and deep exasperation with the financial establishment that shows no sign of diminishing'.
Thurs 9th Jun 2011 - In his leader article, the Archbishop notes a widespread anxiety about proposed reforms and 'the feeling that not enough has been exposed to proper public argument'.
Sat 7th Mar 2009 - at a time of market turmoil, the Archbishop said it was essential for ethical behaviour to be an integral part of the economic process.
Archbishop Rowan's ministry is shaped by Jesus' teaching that we should 'love our neighbour as ourselves'. Archbishop Rowan speaks regularly to those who risk being marginalised, so that he can bring their concerns to public view.
Fri 8th Jul 2011 - In an article published in the Guardian Online, Andrew Brown describes a visit by the Archbishop to HMP Grendon.
Tues 7th Jun 2011 - In an article published in the Evening Standard as part of its Get London Reading campaign, the Archbishop says 'literacy is still about dignity and freedom'.
Thurs 3rd Sep 2009 - Shortly after visiting a Housing Advice Centre run by Shelter, the housing and homelessness charity, the Archbishop wrote an article for Roof magazine.
Weds 25th Mar 2009 - In this speech, the Archbishop says that respect for the environment is not an optional extra, especially for Christians.
The Archbishop of Canterbury is the senior bishop of the worldwide Anglican Communion, representing 85 million Christians in 165 countries. Archbishop Rowan shares in the work of churches around the world to teach the Christian faith and to care for those in need or in danger.
Mon 10th Oct 2011 - The Archbishops of Canterbury, Central Africa, Southern Africa and Tanzania met with President Robert Mugabe to protest against abuses.
Fri 1st Jul 2011 - The Archbishop made a pastoral visit to the Church in north-east Congo, which is rebuilding after conflict. Malcolm Doney from the Church Times went too.
Thurs 23rd Jun 2011 - During a trip to Kenya, the Archbishop saw first-hand the 'inspiring work' being done by local churches in situations of extreme overcrowding and poverty.
Reflecting the Christian principles of love and charity, Archbishop Rowan works to build harmonious relations between religions.
Thurs 7th Feb 2008 - The Archbishop's remarks on civil and religious law provoked a strong reaction. Read here the Archbishop's lecture at the Royal Courts of Justice.
The Archbishop meets regularly with leaders of other churches, experiencing their lives and ministries and advancing ecumenical dialogue, theological reflection and co-operation in mission.
Famously a fan of the Simpsons, Father Ted and The West Wing, the Archbishop is also a poet and author (bibliography available here). His other cultural loves include Bach, Dostoevsky, and WH Auden.
Weds 18th Jan 2012 - the Archbishop visited Argyle Primary School at the end of the school’s Poetry Week, and shared some favourite poems with the pupils.
Thurs 21st Jan 2010 - The Archbishop spoke about the 'Swimming Reindeer', a sculpture carved from a mammoth's tusk 13,000 years ago.
Fri 16th Jan 2009 - In a lecture at the Royal Academy of Arts, the Archbishop explored aspects of how icons are practical aids to meditative prayer.
Sat 27th Sept 2008 - The Archbishop talks to A.N.Wilson about his book Dostoevsky: Language, Faith and Fiction
Sun 22nd Dec 2002 - For Desert Island Discs, the Archbishop chose his favourite 8 tracks, a book and one luxury.
A full resource of the Archbishop's sermons, speeches, articles and interviews is available by clicking the buttons in the upper right corner of this page.