Archbishop thanks Dr Williams for the warm welcome he gave Pope Benedict XVI during his trip to Britain

Archbishop Vincent Nichols of Westminster has paid tribute to Dr Rowan Williams, the Archbishop of Canterbury, after it was announced that he was stepping down to become Master of Magdalene College, Cambridge.

Archbishop Nichols said: “In the last three years I have grown to appreciate more and more the fine qualities of Archbishop Rowan: his kindness, his sharp intellect, his dedication to striving for harmony between peoples, especially within the Christian family, his courage and his friendship. These will be much missed when he steps down from his demanding office in December. I will miss him.

“I thank him for all the service he has given, recalling particularly his warm welcome to Pope Benedict at Lambeth Palace, a visit reciprocated with similar joy just last week.

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“I now look forward to nine months of continuing work together.”

Dr Williams will step down in December.

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