Archbishop of Canterbury withdraws application for mastership of Emmanuel College

Emily Loud- News Editor 26 April 2012

It has emerged that the Archbishop of Canterbury withdrew his application for the mastership of Emmanuel College after threats of legal action from a gay cleric.

Dr Rowan Williams, who is now set to take over as Master of Magdalene College, stood down from the competition to become Master of Emmanuel College amid fears that his stance on gay marriage would prove unsuitable for the progressive college.

Emmanuel is home to the liberal Reverend Caddick, who has articulated a more open approach to homosexuality, stating in 2006, “in things like the Church’s treatment of gay people, we are going in the wrong direction.”

His withdrawal occurred in January after the Mail on Sunday published news that Dr Jeffrey John, Dean of St Albans, was threatening to sue the Church of England under the Equality Act, alleging that his failure to be promoted to Bishop of Southwark was due to his homosexuality. According to the Mail, Dr Williams may have played a part in this decision. Dr Williams is also said to have pressured Dr John into stepping down from his appointment as Bishop of Reading in 2003.

When contacted for comment, Lambeth Palace declined to make a statement.

Dr Williams will assume the position of Master of Magdalene College in 2013.

Emily Loud- News Editor