(PA) Archbishop of Canterbury gives last service as Church of England leader

Posted by Kendall Harmon

Rowan Williams has attended his last service as the archbishop of Canterbury at the city's cathedral, before he leaves office as leader of the Church of England and spiritual head of the 77 million-strong Anglican communion.

More than 700 people turned out to bid farewell to 62-year-old Williams before he officially departs as the 104th archbishop of Canterbury on Monday, following a 10-year tenure.

He will go on to take up the posts of master of Magdalene College, Cambridge, and chairman of the board of trustees of Christian Aid, the international development agency.

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Filed under: * Anglican - EpiscopalArchbishop of Canterbury --Rowan WilliamsAnglican ProvincesChurch of England (CoE)CoE BishopsSexuality Debate (in Anglican Communion)Same-sex blessings* Culture-WatchWomen* TheologyAnthropologyEthics / Moral TheologyTheology: Scripture

10 Comments
Posted December 30, 2012 at 3:00 pm [Printer Friendly] [Print w/ comments]



1. Archer_of_the_Forest wrote:

“Baron of Oystermouth”

Hahahahahahahaha! What a perfect title.

December 30, 7:44 pm | [comment link]
2. Pageantmaster ن wrote:

#1 Have you never heard of Molluscular Christianity?

December 30, 8:56 pm | [comment link]
3. Archer_of_the_Forest wrote:

No, but they kept telling me that somewhere in Rowan Williams mouth was some pearl of wisdom.

December 30, 8:58 pm | [comment link]
4. dwstroudmd+ wrote:

Rowan and VGR going out together!  A coincidence?  You decide.  And taking the Anglican Communion down with them.

December 31, 7:54 am | [comment link]
5. Sarah wrote:

Good grief—is he really to be titled as the “Baron of Oystermouth”????

If I were he, I would ask for a recount!

December 31, 9:51 am | [comment link]
6. dmitri wrote:

It is good that Rowan is now relieved of the seemingly impossible task of trying to keep peace in the contentious AC and can devote himself to scholarship and spiritual writing.  May God bless him.  Perhaps Justin Welby will have an easier time as ABC.  I hope so.

December 31, 9:55 am | [comment link]
7. Sarah wrote:

RE: “the seemingly impossible task of trying to keep peace . . . “

That certainly would have been an impossible task had it been his. What a pity that he took on an impossible task, when he might have focused on the actually possible tasks of his leadership and accomplished some of those.

It does make one wonder why one would focus on an impossible task that is not one’s responsibility to the exclusion of the possible tasks that were.

December 31, 10:50 am | [comment link]
8. Terry Tee wrote:

I agree with Dmitri.  The difficulty with being AB of C is that your authority is severely circumscribed.  Yes, you have moral and spiritual authority, but if fractious and contentious people choose to override this, you have no sanctions.  In the days of earlier archbishops - Lang, for example 1in the 1930s - there was more consensus in Anglicanism of the limits beyond which no right-thinking Anglican would go.  Alas, these days anything goes.  Critics of RW are doing down a decent man of profound faith.

December 31, 11:31 am | [comment link]
9. Sarah wrote:

RE: “your authority is severely circumscribed.”

Oh, he had plenty of available authority—and power to go along with it—to deal with the actual responsibilities of his office, none of which had a whit to do with “trying to keep peace.”

December 31, 2:10 pm | [comment link]
10. Archer_of_the_Forest wrote:

He could have been a more firm leader for sure instead of fiddling while Canterbury burned, but I do think Rowan Williams gets blasted for a lot of some things that he had no power over and that really anyone in Anglican Communion in his spot could not have really done any better or worse. Sadly, I think his talents were wasted as Archbishop of Canterbury. Some of his academic stuff on Arius and Icons is truly superb. I hope he can go back to doing what he’s good at, as apparently being a corporate leader of a fractious Communion was not his strong suit.

December 31, 2:23 pm | [comment link]
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