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Sunday, 6 January, 2002, 15:30 GMT
Carey 'to retire this year'
Dr Carey in the 13th century Crypt Chapel in Lambeth Palace
Dr Carey has guided the Church of England for 10 years
The Archbishop of Canterbury, Dr George Carey, is expected to announce his retirement this week.

Dr Carey, 66, could stay in his post until 2005.

But the BBC's religious affairs correspondent Tom Piggott says it is thought he will leave before the end of the year, after taking part in the Queen's Golden Jubilee celebrations.

Dr Carey has had an eventful and often difficult reign since he was appointed the 103rd Archbishop of Canterbury in 1991.

Bishop of Rochester Michael Nazir-Ali
The Bishop of Rochester is a possible successor
His main achievement was to oversee the first ordination of women priests in 1994 and manage the deep divisions it created within the Church of England.

Dr Carey gained a more conservative reputation during the Lambeth Conference of Anglican Bishops in 1998 which took a hard line against the practice of homosexuality among priests.

In 2000, it was reported that the Queen had asked the archbishop to delay his retirement until at least 2003 so he could oversee the spiritual side of her 50th anniversary on the throne.

Lambeth Palace refused to comment on the speculation at the time.

Successors

Dr Carey, the son of an East End porter and lifelong Arsenal fan, has often been seen as a man of the people - he was the first Archbishop of Canterbury in modern times not to have attended Oxford or Cambridge universities.

Among possible candidates to succeed him are the Bishop of London Richard Chartres, who has opposed the ordination of women as priests, and the Bishop of Rochester Michael Nazir-Ali, who was born in Pakistan.

Bishop Michael cause a stir when he branded married couples who opt to remain childless as "self-indulgent and incomplete".

He said having children should be regarded as a basic duty of marriage

A leading liberal candidate is Archbishop of Wales Rowan Williams, a high powered theologian and writer.

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The BBC's Robert Pigott
"Dr Carey... was an unexpected choice for Archbishop of Canterbury"
The BBC's Christina Rees
"I think those definitions are slightly shaded"
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