Archbishop of Canterbury steps down to become master of Magdalene College

ROWAN Williams is to step down after 10 years as Archbishop of Canterbury to take up a new post as Master of Magdalene College, Cambridge.

The installation of Dr Williams - who studied theology at Christ’s College, Cambridge - as Master of Magdalene will take place in January.

Commenting on the high-profile appointment, the current Master of Magdalene Duncan Robinson - who has been in post for 10 years - said: “I congratulate the fellowship on the appointment of Rowan Williams.

“The college is fortunate to have recruited as master someone of such outstanding intellectual stature, and such profound commitment to public service, especially at a time when collegiate Cambridge faces so many challenges.

“I wish him every success in the post it has been both my privilege and my pleasure to hold for the past ten years. My wife and I look forward to welcoming the Williamses to Magdalene.”

Dr Williams, 61, said: “I am very grateful to the college for the honour they have done me, and look forward to being part of such a lively and intellectually rigorous community. I hope I shall be able to continue the exciting developments that have been taking place under the guidance of the present Master and the Fellowship, and Jane and I look forward to taking up this challenging office next January.”

Lambeth Palace has said the Queen, as Supreme Governor of the Church of England, had been informed of Dr William’s decision.

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Dr Williams was confirmed as 104th Archbishop of Canterbury and spiritual leader of Anglican communion in December 2002.

He described the Church of England as a “great treasure” which was still a place where many people sought inspiration and comfort in times of need.