Archbishop to quit post for Cambridge role
The Archbishop of Canterbury has announced he is to step down from his post at the end of the year to become Master of Magdalene College, Cambridge.
Archbishop Rowan Williams today (March 16) 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 104th 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.“
In response to the news, the Bishop of Norwich, the Rt Rev Graham James, said: “The Church of England and the Anglican Communion has been led for the past decade by a man of immense learning and deep holiness. Rowan Williams’ ministry has been a huge gift from God to both church and nation.
“It is very likely that he will be increasingly appreciated as the years pass and future generations may wonder why he was not more cherished in his own time. Our prayers are with him and his family, and with those who are tasked with the appointment of his successor.”
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.
Pictured above is Archbishop Rowan Williams preaching in Norwich Cathedral.