Rowan Douglas Williams was born in Swansea, south Wales on 14 June 1950, into a Welsh-speaking family, and was educated at Dynevor School in Swansea and Christ's College Cambridge where he studied theology. He studied for his doctorate – in the theology of Vladimir Lossky, a leading figure in Russian twentieth-century religious thought – at Wadham College Oxford, taking his DPhil in 1975. After two years as a lecturer at the College of the Resurrection, near Leeds, he was ordained deacon in Ely Cathedral before returning to Cambridge.
From 1977, he spent nine years in academic and parish work in Cambridge: first at Westcott House, being ordained priest in 1978, and from 1980 as curate at St George's, Chesterton. In 1983 he was appointed as a lecturer in Divinity in the university, and the following year became dean and chaplain of Clare College. 1986 saw a return to Oxford now as Lady Margaret Professor of Divinity and Canon of Christ Church; he was awarded the degree of Doctor of Divinity in 1989, and became a fellow of the British Academy in 1990. He is also an accomplished poet and translator.
In 1991 Professor Williams accepted election and consecration as bishop of Monmouth, a diocese on the Welsh borders, and in 1999 on the retirement of Archbishop Alwyn Rice Jones he was elected Archbishop of Wales, one of the 38 primates of the Anglican Communion. Thus it was that, in July 2002, with eleven years' experience as a diocesan bishop and three as a leading primate in the Communion, Archbishop Williams was confirmed on 2 December 2002 as the 104th bishop of the See of Canterbury: the first Welsh successor to St Augustine of Canterbury and the first since the mid-thirteenth century to be appointed from beyond the English Church.
Dr Williams is acknowledged internationally as an outstanding theological writer, scholar and teacher. He has been involved in many theological, ecumenical and educational commissions. He has written extensively across a very wide range of related fields of professional study – philosophy, theology (especially early and patristic Christianity), spirituality and religious aesthetics – as evidenced by his bibliography. He has also written throughout his career on moral, ethical and social topics and, since becoming archbishop, has turned his attention increasingly on contemporary cultural and interfaith issues.
As Archbishop of Canterbury his principal responsibilities are however pastoral – leading the life and witness of the Church of England in general and his own diocese in particular by his teaching and oversight, and promoting and guiding the communion of the world-wide Anglican Church by the globally recognized ministry of unity that attaches to the office of bishop of the see of Canterbury.
His interests include music, fiction and languages.
In 1981 Dr Williams married Jane Paul, a lecturer in theology, whom he met while living and working in Cambridge. They have a daughter and a son.
Wadham College, Oxford, D.Phil 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
Doctor of Divinity 1989
Fellow, British Academy 1990
Peerage for the Lord Archbishop of Canterbury
26 December 2012
The Queen has been pleased to confer a Peerage of the United Kingdom for Life on the Most Reverend and…
Archbishop's interview with Canterbury's 'Outlook' magazine
10 December 2012
In an exclusive interview for Outlook magazine, Amber Stark, Lianne Carpenter, Jack Cheeseman and Chloë…
Archbishop tells women “this is still your Church”
20 November 2012
The Archbishop of Canterbury Rowan Williams spoke of his “deep personal sadness” that General Synod…
"A potentially liberating moment for all of us": Archbishop urges Synod to vote for women bishops
20 November 2012
Shortly before the historic vote at General Synod today, the Archbishop of Canterbury said it was "time…
General Synod: Archbishop's sermon at Eucharist - 'Let heart speak to heart'
20 November 2012
In his Eucharist sermon at General Synod in London this morning, Archbishop Rowan Williams prayed for…
Archbishop awarded freedom of the city of Canterbury
17 November 2012
The Archbishop of Canterbury Rowan Williams was today awarded the freedom of the city of Canterbury a…
BBC Radio 4's "Something Understood: The Better Part of Valour"
16 September 2012
In "Something Understood" for BBC Radio 4, Mark Tully talks to the Archbishop of Canterbury about some…
Telegraph interview with Archbishop Rowan Williams
8 September 2012
The Archbishop of Canterbury, Dr Rowan Williams, spoke to Benedict Brogan from the Daily Telegraph newspaper,…
Evening Standard interview with Archbishop Rowan Williams
18 June 2012
An interview by Richard Godwin, published in the Evening Standard.
Archbishop speaks at Springfield Church, Surrey
18 March 2012
The Archbishop of Canterbury spoke about his life and work as he answered questions in front of the Springfield…
March 2012Archbishop of Canterbury to be Master of Magdalene College, Cambridge16 March 2012Archbishop Rowan Williams has announced his acceptance of the position of Master of Magdalene College,…Archbishop's interview with Press Association 16 March 2012Archbishop Rowan Williams spoke to the Press Association following the announcement that he will step…February 2011Archbishop awarded honorary doctorate2 February 2011The Archbishop of Canterbury, Dr Rowan Williams, is one of four eminent scholars who today received honorary…May 2009The Archbishop on his Journey of Faith10 May 2009Patrick Forbes' invites the Archbishop to discuss his ongoing walk with God for the 500th edition of…December 2008Archbishop's New Statesman magazine interview22 December 2008The full text from James Macintyre's interview with Dr Rowan Williams - published in the 22 December…June 2007Time Magazine Interview18 June 2007The Archbishop of Canterbury is on the front cover of the European and African editions of Time Magazine.…March 2006The Guardian Interview21 March 2006Transcript of a wide-ranging interview given to Alan Rusbridger, for the Guardian newspaper. Topics covered…December 2002Archbishop's Desert Island Discs22 December 2002The Archbishop of Canterbury, Dr Rowan Williams, appeared on BBC Radio 4's Desert Island Discs programme…Archbishop Rowan Williams confirmed in office as Archbishop of Canterbury2 December 2002Dr Williams officially took office as Archbishop of Canterbury in a legal ceremony known as the Confirmation…July 2002Announcement of Dr Rowan Williams as the 104th Archbishop of Canterbury23 July 200210 Downing Street, the office of the UK Prime Minister, made the formal announcement of the appointment… - See more at: http://rowanwilliams.archbishopofcanterbury.org/pages/about-rowan-williams.html?page=2#sthash.PbVKzmdw.dpuf