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Lord Rowan Williams's Biography

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Rowan Douglas Williams was born in Ystradgynlais, Wales on 14 June 1950, the son of Aneurin and Nancy Williams.

He was educated at Christ's College Cambridge, and then gained a DPhil in 1975 at Wadham College Oxford.

Rowan Williams was a lecturer at the College of the Resurrection at Mirfield from 1975-1977. He was ordained as a deacon in 1977 and priest in 1978.

Dr Williams spent many years teaching at Oxford and Cambridge before becoming the Bishop of Monmouth in 1992 and then Archbishop of Wales in 2000.

In 2002, Rowan Williams became the Archbishop of Canterbury.

Dr Williams has written a number of books including a couple of poetry collections.

In 1981, Dr Williams married Hilary Jane Paul, a lecturer at Trinity College, Bristol in theology. They have a son and a daughter - Rhiannon and Pip.

The Archbishop of Canterbury is a fan of the television series Father Ted. He also has a fondness for chocolate gingers.

Dr Williams is a linguist. He speaks seven languages including Welsh and Russian.

As the Archbishop of Canterbury, Rowan Williams is the religious leader for around 70 million Anglicans.

In 2007, Archbishop of Canterbury Rowan Williams wrote two prayers for the memorial service to mark the 10th anniversary of the death of Princess Diana.

For further reading, the BBC has a good biography of the Archbishop of Canterbury.

In February 2008, The Archbishop of Canterbury hit the headlines when his comments on Sharia law were picked up by the UK media. The BBC has a copy of the Archbishop of Canterbury's speech, Islam and British Law, (please note this is a PDF document), which provoked a huge reaction.

In December 2008, the Archbishop of Canterbury Rowan Williams attracted controversy by suggesting that the government's economic rescue plan was "like the addict returning to the drug".

In April 2010, The Archbishop of Canterbury was involved in a controversy after claiming that the Catholic Church in Ireland had lost all credibility because of its handling of child abuse by priests. He later expressed his "deep sorrow" for any difficulties caused by his comments.

In March 2012, Dr Rowan Williams announced that he was standing down as Archbishop of Canterbury at the end of the year and would become Master of Magdalene College at the University of Cambridge.

Upon his retirement, Rowan Williams was created a Baron for Life by the style and title of Baron Williams of Oystermouth in the City and County of Swansea.

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