The Most Revd Rowan Douglas Williams

The Most Revd Rowan Williams was the 104th Archbishop of Canterbury. He was enthroned at Canterbury Cathedral on 27th February 2003

About Rowan Williams

Rowan WilliamsRowan Williams was born in Swansea in 1950 in a Welsh-speaking family from the Swansea Valley. He was educated at Dynevor Secondary School, then at Christ's College, Cambridge, where he studied Theology. After research in Oxford (on Russian Christianity), he spent two years at Mirfield before returning to Cambridge in 1977, where he spent nine years in academic and parochial work. He and Jane Paul were married in 1981, and have two children, Rhiannon (born 1988) and Pip (born 1996). Jane now teaches at Trinity College, Bristol.

From 1986 - 1992, Rowan Williams was Professor of Theology at Oxford. During the 80's Rowan and Jane were able to spend brief periods teaching theology and travelling in India (where Jane grew up) and Southern Africa. Rowan has written a number of books on the history of theology and spirituality and published collections of articles and sermons - as well as a book of poems in 1994. He has been involved in various commissions on theology and theological education, the Dearing Working Party on Church Schools, and chaired the group that produced the report 'Wales: a Moral Society?' in 1996.


Bishop of Monmouth 5th December 1991 at St Woolos Cathedral, Newport


St Asaph Cathedral on the feast of St Philip and St James, 1st May 1992, by the Archbishop of Wales, the Bishops of Bangor, Llandaff, Swansea and Brecon, St David's, Tuam, Glasgow, Gloucester, Kingston, Lancaster and Shrewsbury; the Old Catholic Bishop of Bonn, and Bishop George Noakes, Bishop Ronald Bowlby, Bishop Colin Buchanan, Bishop Ronald Gordon, Bishop Robert Martineau, Bishop Eryl Thomas, Bishop Benjamin Vaughan and Bishop Clifford Wright.

Rowan Enthronement


St Woolos Cathedral on 14 May 1992


Archbishop of Wales, December 1999


St Woolos Cathedral on Saturday 26 February 2000





  • Born 1950
  • Christ's College, Cambridge, BA 1971, MA 1975
  • Wadham College, Oxford, DPhil 1975
  • College of the Resurrection, Mirfield, 1975
  • Deacon 1977
  • Priest 1978
  • Tutor, Westcott House, Cambridge, 1977-1980
  • Honorary Curate, Chesterton St George, Ely 1980-1983
  • Lecturer in Divinity, Cambridge 1980-1986
  • Dean and Chaplain, Clare College, Cambridge, 1984-1986
  • Canon Theologian, Leicester Cathedral, 1981-1982
  • Canon Residentiary, Christ Church, Oxford 1986-1992
  • Lady Margaret Professor of Divinity, Oxford 1986-1992
  • DD 1989
  • Fellow British Academy 1990

Episcopal Offices

Bishop of Monmouth

Elected Bishop of Monmouth on 5 December 1991, Rowan Williams was consecrated at St Asaph Cathedral on the feast of St Philip and St James, 1 May 1992 and was enthroned at St Woolos Cathedral on 14 May, 1992.

Archbishop of Wales

Rowan Williams was elected Archbishop of Wales in December 1999 and was enthroned at St Woolos Cathedral on Saturday 26th February, 2000.

Archbishop of Canterbury

Elected as Archbishop of Canterbury on 23 July 2002.

Confirmed as 104th Archbishop of Canterbury on 2 December 2002 in St Paul's Cathedral, London.

Enthroned as the 104th Archbishop of Canterbury on 27 February 2003 in Canterbury Cathedral.

At the end of 2012 he will step down and move to a new role as Master of Magdalene College, Cambridge.


Here is an short bibliography of some of the works that Dr Williams has written:

  • The Wound of Knowledge : Christian Spirituality from the New Testament to St. John of the Cross (London: Darton, Longman and Todd, 1979)
  • Resurrection: Interpreting the Easter Gospel (London: Darton, Longman and Todd, 1982)
  • The Truce of God (London: Fount, 1983)
  • Arius: Heresy and Tradition (London: Darton, Longman and Todd, 1987; 2nd edn SCM Press, 2001)
  • Teresa of Avila (London: Geoffrey Chapman, 1991)
  • Open to Judgement: Sermons and Addresses (London: Darton, Longman and Todd, 1994, repr. 1996, 2001, 2002)
  • Christ on Trial: How the Gospel Unsettles Our Judgement (London: Fount, 2000)
  • Lost Icons: Reflection on Cultural Bereavement (Edinburgh: T&T Clark, 2000, repr. 2001, 2002)
  • On Christian Theology (Oxford: Blackwell, 2000)
  • Ponder These Things: Praying With Icons of the Virgin (Norwich: Canterbury Press, 2002)
  • Writing in the Dust: Reflections on 11th September and Its Aftermath (London: Hodder and Stoughton, 2002)
  • Poems of Rowan Williams (Perpetua Press, 2002)
  • Anglican Identities (London: Dartman, Longman and Todd, 2004)