In his final New Year's message as the Archbishop of Canterbury, Dr Rowan Williams has praised the unsung heroes who quietly turned vision into reality. Dr Williams said the Olympic volunteers were a good example of how quiet work behind the scenes help turn a big event into a success.
Dr Rowan Williams steps down today after a decade as Archbishop of Canterbury and leader of the worldwide Anglican Communion. He will be replaced by Justin Welby, the current Bishop of Durham.
He is the 104th Archbishop and has been in office at a time when the church faces internal problems and society comes to terms with global terrorism and recession. He spoke to Sangeeta Bhabra in his last interview with Meridian before he becomes Master of Magdalene College, Cambridge.
The outgoing Archbishop of Canterbury has warned his successor that "risking unpopularity" is a crucial part of the job.
Dr Rowan Williams, who leaves the post tomorrow, said, "Risking unpopularity, taking the flak, is what Archbishops are here for - it is the stuff of the job".
"It is something you realise the more you work here, that maybe Britain benefits from having someone to get angry with, and that compared to my predecessors I have got off lightly”, he said in an interview for BBC Two documentary Goodbye to Canterbury, according to The Daily Telegraph.
Dr Williams was often criticised throughout his tenure for being outspoken. In 2008, the Archbishop's comments that the adoption of some aspects of Islamic Sharia law "seems unavoidable" were condemned by many.
His successor, Bishop of Durham the Rt. Rev. Justin Welby, will take over the post in March.