Rowan Douglas Williams was born in Swansea on 14 June 1950. He was educated at Dynevor Secondary School, then at Christ's College Cambridge, where he read Theology. After research in Oxford (on Christianity in Russia), he spent two years as a lecturer at Mirfield Theological College near Leeds. From 1977, he spent nine years in academic and parochial work in Cambridge. From 1986-1992, Dr Williams was Professor of Theology at Oxford. He was enthroned as Bishop of Monmouth in 1992 and Archbishop of Wales in 2000.

Dr Williams has written a number of books on the history of theology and spirituality and published collections of articles and sermons – as well as two books of poetry. He has been involved in various commissions on theology and theological education. He was a member of the Church Schools Review Group led by Lord Dearing and chaired the group that produced the report ‘Wales: a Moral Society?

Dr Williams is a Fellow of the British Academy. His interests include music, fiction and languages.

Since 1981, Dr Williams has been married to Jane Paul, a lecturer in theology, whom he met while living and working in Cambridge. They have a son and a daughter.


Christ's College, Cambridge B.A. 1971. M.A. 1975
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

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.