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A crozierHallo again to all.

The Most Reverend Rowan Williams, Bishop of Monmouth and Archbishop of Wales, has been chosen the 104th Archbishop of Canterbury.

The announcement was made by the Prime Minister's office on 23 July.
Press coverage summary in our News Centre.

We're delighted at the announcement that the Most Reverend Rowan Williams, Bishop of Monmouth and Archbishop of Wales, has accepted the call to be the 104th Archbishop of Canterbury.

During the last few weeks it had become nearly certain that Archbishop Williams would be selected by the British government. Whilst we waited for the official announcement, we thought about this highly-politicized archbishopric. In his 1992 book A World Lit Only by Fire, historian William Manchester wrote that through the end of the Middle Ages, far more Christians died at the hand of other Christians than from persecution and oppression by people of other faiths. In our time, we note that the pen is mightier than the sword, and we flay one another in newspapers, websites, television broadcasts, and magazines. Sadly, it is still true that we persecute one another far more than others persecute us.

Regardless of whether you are delighted or horrified at the appointment of Dr Williams, we all owe it to our church and our fellow Anglicans—even those whom we might, God forbid, scorn and condemn—to support the new archbishop and to persecute no one, neither with sword nor with pen. The whole box of political conflict and testiness around this appointment is a discredit to our Communion. Even the words that people are using to describe the conflict are politically loaded; we shall not use any of them here.

When rumours first began to circulate about the possible appointment, Rowan Williams was quoted as saying: 'The Archbishopric of Canterbury is an intimidating and enormous job, and it would be a very foolish man who thought he was adequate to its demands'. Pray for the next archbishop, brothers and sisters, pray for the church: build up, don't tear down.

See you off and on this week, as we bring you the latest online news about the Archbishop-designate of Canterbury.

Cynthia McFarland's signature
Brian Reid's signature
Cynthia McFarland
Brian Reid

Last updated: 27 July 2002