This is no longer new news to those of us who keep up with Church of England news, but it's an important day to be included on the blog.
This morning Archbishop of Canterbury Rowan Williams 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.
Of course this is not goodbye yet, there's another 9 months to go yet. But this marks a change and the start of looking for the 105th Archbishop of Cabterbury.
The full press release is on the Lambeth Palace website including Dr William's words
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. I look forward, with that same support and inspiration, to continuing to serve the Church’s mission and witness as best I can in the years ahead.
I was also interested in his interview with the press association. ++Rowan clearly feels he's come to the end of a phase of change and that it's time to hand over the baton.
I still can't help remembering an image I saw recently with the archbishop on the roof of Lambeth palace saying "say yes to the covenant or I'll jump". It now feels a little close to home. Was he pushed or did he jump?
I hope I'll track it down - if so I'll include a link to it.
I don't have anything negative to say about ++Rowan really; he is charming in person, amazingly bright in discussion, deep in prayer and has been a good front man for the Church of England as far as I'm concerned.
Now we must pray; prayers for his last months in post, prayers for his next challenge, prayers for a new Archbishop, prayers for the church he loves.
(taken June 2011)
Goodbye Archbishop Rowan. It's been a pleasure.