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Williams: Risking unpopularity key to Archbishop role

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".

Dr Rowan Williams delivering his final Christmas day sermon as Archbishop of Canterbury
Dr Rowan Williams pictured delivering his final Christmas day sermon as Archbishop of Canterbury Credit: Gareth Fuller/PA Wire

"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 lightlyā€¯, 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.

Williams: 'We are wilfully blind to society's priorities'

The Archbishop of Canterbury Dr Rowan Williams has said the Church of England has "undoubtedly" lost a "measure of credibility" in wider society following the defeat of the legislation to introduce women Bishops to the church.

The out-going Archbishop of Canterbury speaks this morning. Credit: ITV News

He told the General Synod: "Whatever the motivation for voting yesterday whatever the theological principle on which people acted and spoke, the fact remains that a great deal of this discussion is not intelligible to our wider society.

"Worse than that, it seems as if we are wilfully blind to some of the trends and priorities of that wider society.

"We have some explaining to do, we have as a result of yesterday undoubtedly lost a measure of credibility in our society."


WIlliams: Successor 'needs a newspaper and a Bible'

The outgoing Archbishop of Canterbury Rowan Williams has today stressed the importance of his successor in being able to communicate properly through the media, according to a report in The Times:

You have to be cross-referencing all the time and saying, how does the vision of humanity and community in the Bible map onto these issues of poverty, privation, violence and conflict?

And you have to use what you read in the newspaper to prompt and direct the questions that you put to the Bible.

So I think somebody who likes reading the Bible and likes reading newspapers would be a good start.

Church to begin three-day meeting to choose new Archbishop

Senior church officials will today begin a key three-day meeting today to decide who should succeed Dr Rowan Williams as Archbishop of Canterbury.

Dr Williams, 61, is stepping down after ten years to take on a new role of Master of Magdalene College at Cambridge University.

Dr Williams has accepted the position of Master of Magdalene College at Cambridge University to start in January.
Dr Williams was appointed the 104th Archbishop of Canterbury in 2002. Credit: REUTERS/Max Rossi

The Crown Nominations Commission will carry out its deliberations at a secret location.


Archbishop to devote Easter message to religious education

The Archbishop of Canterbury Rowan Williams will talk about religious education in schools when he gives his Easter sermon today. He will say:

There is plenty to suggest that younger people, while still statistically deeply unlikely to be churchgoers, don't have the hostility to faith that one might expect. They at least share some sense that there is something here to take seriously when they have a chance to learn about it. It is about the worst possible moment to downgrade the status and professional excellence of religious education in secondary schools.

– Archbishop of Canterbury Rowan Williams

'Immense privilege' to serve as Archbishop

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.

– Dr Rowan Williams, Archbishop of Canterbury
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