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Seminar 5:
A Celt for Our Times:
The Archbishop We
Had to Have

Among the many things which stand out in the person and intellect of Rowan Williams are two crucial qualities.

The first is his inclusiveness, something which makes him impossible to pigeon-hole. He sees the big picture, which gives confidence to others, even to those who disagree strongly with him on specific issues.

When he went to lecture at Mirfield Theological College as a very young man, one of the Mirfield Fathers spoke of the new lecturer, saying he had "tremendous and unfashionable stillness, combined with sensitivity. He made me feel good. He made me feel that what I was giving was as important as what he was giving."

The second quality is Rowan's ability to quarry tradition to inform contemporary debate. He is a master of making connections. Rowan Williams comes to fresh conclusions from clearly orthodox paths. Sarah Maitland, the novelist and friend of Williams, says "He is just about the only person I know who uses orthodoxy as a challenge and not as a safety valve."

(from Rupert Short, Rowan Williams, an Introduction)

The day will be divided into four segments:

  • The Spirituality of Rowan Williams (Bishop David Farrer)
  • Rowan Williams and Politics (Fr James Minchin)
  • Rowan Williams the Teacher (Bishop David Farrer)
  • The Poetry of Rowan Williams (Fr James Minchin)

Date Saturday 22 May
Time 10.00 am - 3.30 pm
Venue St Peter's Church, Eastern Hill
Cost $30 (concession: $25) NOTE: cost includes lunch
Conductors Right Rev'd David Farrer
Bishop of Wangaratta, former Parish Priest of St Peter's and former Director of ISS. David prepared for his own consecration by spending some time in Monmouth Diocese 'shadowing' Rowan Williams, whom he had first met in Nottingham in the 80s.
Fr James Minchin
Vicar of Christ Church, St Kilda, has known the Archbishop since they met at Oxford University in the 70s.

Authorized by the Vicar (
and the Institute for Spiritual Studies (
Maintained by the Editor (
© 2003 The Institute for Spiritual Studies