Williams recognises Liverpool's city of culture achievement

By staff writers
12 Jan 2008

Archbishop of Canterbury Dr Rowan Williams will honour Liverpool's achievement in taking on the mantle of European City of Culture by making a two-day pastoral visit to the Diocese and people of the area later in January 2008.

During his visit Dr Rowan Williams will deliver a lecture on Christianity and Culture in Liverpool Cathedral, reports the Religious Intelligence news website, affiliated with the Church of England Newspaper.

While he is in the city, Dr Williams will attend a Holocaust Memorial Day event at Liverpool Town Hall with Chief Rabbi Dr Jonathan Sacks. The two men are known to share some common interests and a degree of mutual admiration.

The Archbishop, who is spiritual head of the Church of England and of the 77 million worldwide Anglican Communion, will preach at Vespers in Liverpool Metropolitan Cathedral to mark the Centenary of the Week of Prayer and Christian Unity.

The divsions in his own church over authority, Scripture and sexuality make the Week especially significant and poignant for Dr Williams.

A special service to mark that ecumenical centenary will also be held in Westminster Abbey, London, next week.

Meanwhile, the Archbishop will receive an honorary degree from Durham University. Dr Rowan Williams will be made a Doctor of Divinity in a service at the city's cathedral.

A spokesperson for the university said: "An honorary degree is the highest accolade a university can bestow, and only a small number are awarded by Durham to major achievers on the world stage who have strong Durham links."

Dr Williams is an acclaimed scholar of theology and philosophy, a noted poet and author, as well as being the 104th Archbishop of Canterbury.

He was linked to the university through its theology department, whose members have included mentors to him during his studies, says the Northumberland Gazette.

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