- The Washington Times - Tuesday, October 25, 2016

The former archbishop of Canterbury who fought for women to be appointed bishops in the Anglican Church will preach next week at an Episcopal church in Northwest.

The Right Rev. Rowan Williams will visit The Church of the Epiphany near Metro Center on Nov. 6 to preach on the Feast of All Saints.

Rasheen Carbin, a senior warden at The Church of the Epiphany, said the parish is thrilled to welcome the well-known theologian, who remains a critical voice within the Anglican community today. The Episcopal Church is part of the U.S.-based branch of the Anglican Communion.

Today, the Anglican Church regularly appoints women as bishops, with the Rev. Libby Lane becoming the first female bishop in the Church of England in December 2014.

But the church began appointing female bishops after Archbishop Williams’ 10-year tenure as the Anglicans’ spiritual leader had ended in December 2012. During his final General Synod, he warned the assembly of church leaders that they would be “staring into the abyss” if it did not approve legislation allowing women to become bishops.

Archbishop Williams also sought to unify the Anglican Communion and the wider Christian world as a whole, as well as increase attention to the intersection of contemporary culture and faith within the church.

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The 66-year-old native of Wales was appointed the 104th Archbishop of Canterbury in late 2002, becoming the first archbishop to be appointed from outside the Church of England since the mid-13th century. He was succeeded in 2013 by the Right Rev. Justin Welby, who is the church’s current spiritual leader. Queen Elizabeth II is the titular head of the Church of England.

Before leading the Anglican Communion, Archbishop Williams held a variety of roles in the church and academia. He was archbishop of Wales, one of the 38 primates of the Anglican Communion, for three years. In 1991, he was elected and consecrated bishop of Monmouth, a Welsh diocese, where he served for eight years.

The archbishop was ordained a priest in 1978, after which he spent nine years in Cambridge doing parish and academic work. It was during this time that he met his future wife, Jane Paul, a lecturer in theology. The couple was married in 1981 and have two children — Rhiannon and Pip.

Archbishop Williams studied theology at Christ’s College Cambridge before pursuing a doctorate in the theology of Vladimir Lossky, an influential Russian theologian, at Wadham College Oxford.

The archbishop comes to the District as the guest of the Rev. Geoffrey Hoare, interim rector of The Church of the Epiphany. Mr. Hoare also is a member of Magdalene College at Cambridge, where Archbishop Williams has served as master since stepping down as spiritual leader of the Anglican Church.

The Church of the Epiphany is invested deeply in serving the downtown community. Each week, the Episcopal congregation feeds more than 200 homeless and hosts a Tuesday evening concert series that features classical musicians from the surrounding area.

Archbishop Williams will deliver sermons at the church’s 8 a.m. and 11 a.m. services on Nov. 6.

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