Kent

Archbishop of Canterbury receives freedom of city

Dr Rowan Williams
Image caption Rowan Williams will be replaced by the Bisphop of Durham, the Right Reverend Justin Welby

The Archbishop of Canterbury has received the freedom of the city of Canterbury a month before he steps down as the spiritual head of the Anglican Church.

The award was handed to Rowan Williams at a meeting of Canterbury City Council to recognise his work in the community.

It brings with it symbolic rights, such as the right to drive sheep through the city.

He will be succeeded by the Right Reverend Justin Welby.

Dr Williams joins others who have been awarded the freedom of Canterbury, including the Prince of Wales, ex-Archbishop of Canterbury Lord Carey of Clifton and hostage survivor Terry Waite.

Part of his citation read: "His care and compassion for the people of the diocese is illustrated by his support of charities such as Catching Lives and Porchlight, and his work in the district has had a huge impact on the lives of many of its most vulnerable residents."

He will step down as archbishop next month after a decade in the post to become Master of Magdalene College, Cambridge.

His successor, who is currently the Bishop of Durham, will be enthroned as archbishop at Canterbury Cathedral on 21 March.

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