The Profile

Dr Rowan Williams: The former Archbishop of Canterbury on the Rule of St Benedict

June 5, 2020

Dr Rowan Williams is hoping to move back to Wales. “I don’t know exactly when it will be possible” he tells Catherine Larner, “but I still hope to be back by late autumn. I’m waiting to see what lies ahead, but I’m not looking to fill the diary. I’m hoping there may be an opportunity to loosen up and unclutter slightly...I can dream!” To return to Wales would bring things back full circle. It’s where he grew up and where, as a bishop, spent the happiest years of his life. A poet, a theologian and the former Archbishop of Canterbury (2002–12), Dr Williams has been the Master of Magdalene College Cambridge for much of the past decade, inhabiting a vast 1960s red-brick property on the edge of the city centre. Life is busy with numerous responsibilities but it’s stimulating and sociable and follows a rhythm of life, he says. Each day incorporates morning and evening prayer, a time of silence, meetings, work and time with family and friends or colleagues. In this wide-ranging interview, Dr Williams opens up about past mistakes, comments on the frenetic pace of life facing many, and explains how the Rule of St Benedict can help us.

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