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Monday, 2 December, 2002, 18:00 GMT
Bishops bid leader farewell
Dr Rowan Williams, Archbishop of Canterbury
Dr Rowan Williams leads the Anglican Church
The Church In Wales gave its "heartfelt good wishes" to Dr Rowan Williams as he became Archbishop of Canterbury in a London ceremony.

The former Archbishop of Wales underwent his formal "confirmation of election" at St Paul's Cathedral to become leader of the Church of England worldwide.

Bishops in Wales said he had made an "immense" contribution to life in the country.

Dr Williams' departure from the top church post in Wales leaves the Church In Wales looking for a new spiritual leader.

The Bishop of Llandaff in Cardiff, Barry Morgan, will take over the duties of Archbishop of Wales until a successor is appointed next year.

He is tipped by many to take the full role later on.

Historic position

After making formal pledges of allegiance to the Queen and the Church on Monday, Dr Williams said it had been "very humbling" to be placed in such a historic and important position.

"I pray for God's guidance as I seek to meet this new challenge - a challenge I face with a sense of inadequacy but also with hope, with joy and with enthusiasm," he said.

I pray for God's guidance as I seek to meet this challenge ... with hope and joy

Dr Rowan Williams
The Church In Wales - and his Monmouth diocese - will miss one of the most revered, learned and controversial clerics of modern times.

"We pray that those qualities of spirituality, integrity, leadership, scholarship and humility will be enhanced as he undertakes the leadership," read a statement from the bench of six Church In Wales bishops.

"We have deeply appreciated Archbishop Rowan's contribution to the Church in Wales during his period of almost eleven years as Bishop of Monmouth...

"His contribution to Wales' national life as well as the life of the Church in Wales has been immense. We will greatly miss his wise leadership and of course his warmth and humour."

Pomp and circumstance

Ahead of the ceremony, the 52-year-old risked conservative ire by speaking out for homosexuality.

"It seems to me rather sad, and rather revealing, that when it comes to sex we suddenly become much less intelligent about our reading of the Bible," he said in a BBC profile on Sunday.

Dr Williams also criticised the pomp and circumstance of the Church.

He said the Church was too interested in status and titles.

 WATCH/LISTEN
 ON THIS STORY
The BBC's Robert Piggott
"His radical views have made him a catalyst for conflict"
Tom Butler, Archbishop of Southwark
"He's a man who won't fudge issues"
Archbishop Cyril Okoracha, Nigerian Archbishop
"The main controversial issue around Dr Williams' appointment was that... he knowingly ordained practicing homosexuals"

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