Rowan Williams announces his retirement
Lambeth Palace press release: Archbishop of Canterbury to be Master of Magdalene College, Cambridge
Archbishop Rowan Williams has today 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…
Bishopthorpe Palace press release: Statement Regarding Archbishop of Canterbury Stepping Down
Following the announcement this morning that the Archbishop of Canterbury, Dr Rowan Williams, will be stepping down from his present office at the end of December, The Archbishop of York has released the following statement:
“It is with great sadness that I received the news that the Archbishop of Canterbury will be stepping down at the end of this year.
Our partnership in the gospel over the past six years has been the most creative period of my ministry. It has been life-giving to have led missions together, gone on retreats and prayed together. In his company I have drunk deeply from the wells of God’s mercy and love and it has all been joyful. He is a real brother to me in Christ…
General Synod members have been sent a copy of a note from the Secretary General (GS Misc 1019) to which is attached “Outline Of Procedures For The Appointment Of An Archbishop Of Canterbury”. We have made this available as a web page. Most of this GS Misc paper is also available here.
The Anglican Communion Office issued this press release: Archbishop of Canterbury announces he is stepping down at the end of the year.
Magdalene College Cambridge has issued this press release.
10 Downing Street issued PM Statement on resignation of the Archbishop of Canterbury.
Lambeth Palace Archbishop’s interview with Press Association
Posted by Simon Sarmiento on Friday, 16 March 2012 a
Whatever one may think about the reign of Archbishop Rowan, his time as Archbishop of Canterbury has probably been one of the most troubled since the First Archbishop of Canterbury was appointed after the Reformation of the Church in England.
One of his problems was that of having to fit into the Establishment after his predecessor, Archbishop George Carey: whose time in office had empowered the current ethos of the GAFCON Provinces struggling to gain dominance within the world-wide Anglican Communion.
Despite Archbishop Rowan’s known empathy with Women Clergy and Gays in the Church – evidenced by his earlier writing in ‘The Body’s Grace‘ – the Communion moved gradually towards the culture of schism, with the emergence of the GAFCON-related culture of conservative piracy into the territories of TEC and the Anglican Church of Canada.
The creation of ACNA and AMiA in North America, and of AMiE in England – on the very doorstep of the Church of England – has brought about the prospect of division in the Church that has been unprecedented since the emergence of Methodism in the 19th century.
However one views Archbishop Rowan’s handling of these crises in the Communion, one cannot fault his determination to keep together the Provinces of the Communion – whatever that may cost in terms of the seeming ‘failure of nerve’ that has characterised the actions of the Church against the struggle for supremacy by the various opponents of openness to Women and Gays in the Church.
Paradoxically, it may be that Rowan Williams could yet prove to be a greater influence towards Inclusion in the Church when he is no longer bowed down with the responsibility of being ‘Primus Inter Pares’ – a term which has prevented him from pursuing the path of freedom in the Gospel that he was able to exercise before his present preferment.
One can only hope that, whomever is called to replace him, it may not be a Bishop who is in any way related to the enthusiasm of the GAFCON Provinces for the status quo of the Sola-Scriptura brand of religion. The slow progress made so far, under Rowan’s careful oversight in the Church of England, on issues of gender and sexuality, cannot simply be jettisoned in the cause of ‘Unity at any price’. The Gospel of inclusiveness is surely too precious for such a compromise in the Church of today.
Father Ron Smith, Christchurch, New Zealand