Archbishop Rowan Williams
Tributes have been paid to the outgoing Archbishop of Canterbury, Dr Rowan Williams, who announced his retirement today.
Dr Williams, 61, will leave office at the end of the year, to return to academia in the post of Master of Magdelene College, Cambridge.
The Most Rev Vincent Nichols, Catholic Archbishop of Westminster said: “In the last three years I have grown to appreciate more and more the fine qualities of Archbishop Rowan: his kindness, his sharp intellect, his dedication to striving for harmony between peoples, especially within the Christian family, his courage and his friendship.
“These will be much missed when he steps down from his demanding office in December. I will miss him.
“I thank him for all the service he has given, recalling particularly his warm welcome to Pope Benedict at Lambeth Palace, a visit reciprocated with similar joy just last week.
“I now look forward to nine months of continuing work together.”
The Archbishop of Wales, he Archbishop of Wales, Dr Barry Morgan, said: “Dr Rowan Williams has been the most able Archbishop of Canterbury for centuries and perhaps his true worth will only really be appreciated by the Church once he’s gone.
“He is a deeply Christian man, both humble and holy, always approachable and never standing on ceremony. As such he has endeared himself to many people.
“He has worked tirelessly over the past decade to hold the Anglican Communion together, taking very seriously the views of those who differ from him.
“He has tried to encourage everyone to work together, rather than to pursue their own agendas, and that is always a difficult task.
“In Wales, of course, we’ve been particularly proud of him and he’s been a wonderful ambassador for our country. He’s always delighted to return and has an official Welsh weekend every year – next weekend in fact – when he’s always welcomed back with open arms.
“No doubt, being Archbishop of Canterbury has been a gruelling job for him and I expect he’ll now be looking forward to returning to reading, writing and lecturing.
“He has an enormous ability to think in a deep and profound way and is able to bring things to light thoughtfully and effectively – a quality which I think people will miss and he will certainly not want to get in the way of whoever succeeds him.”
March 16th, 2012 - Posted & Written by Simon Cross