Rowan Douglas Williams the 61 year old UK Anglican bishop, poet and theologian and current Archbishop of Canterbury has announced he will be stepping down at the end of 2012 to take up a senior position as master of Magdalene College at Cambridge University. Williams as the senior bishop of the Church of England is the symbolic head of the international network of Anglican and Episcopal churches, representing nearly 80 million people in the Anglican Communion. Williams renown for being outspoken on social issues stated, “It is a job of immense demands and I would hope that my successor has the constitution of an ox and the skin of a rhinoceros… he will, I think, have to look with positive, hopeful eyes on a church, which for all its problems is still, for so many people, a place to which they resort in times of need and crisis, a place to which they look for inspiration… I think the Church of England is a great treasure.” Williams’ departure leaves a church deeply split and on the verge of a fundamental schism, with little indications its divisions over opening the Anglican priesthood to women and gays can be reconciled by any potential successor.


Inspired by Andrew Brown image source Brian