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Former Archbishop Rowan Williams in Launceston, Saturday 9th and Sunday 10th December 2017

PRESS RELEASE: Former Archbishop Rowan Williams to visit Launceston

Former Archbishop of Canterbury, Lord Rowan Williams, will be visiting Launceston during the weekend December 8th – 10th as a guest of the Charles Causley Trust.

Dr Williams stood down as Archbishop of Canterbury on 31 December 2012  to take up the position of Master of Magdalene College at Cambridge University in January 2013. He is acknowledged internationally as an outstanding theological writer, scholar and teacher. He has written across a very wide range of related fields of professional study – philosophy, theology (especially early and patristic Christianity), spirituality and religious aesthetics – as well as poetry. In 2015, he contributed an introduction to the publication of a new book of Selected Poems of Cornish poet Jack Clemo. Dr Williams is an acknowledged poet in his own right, and cites Charles Causley as being a major influence on his work.

Dr Williams will be participating in three major events during his weekend stay:

Saturday 9th December: In the morning he will be working with children to prepare Christmas cards based on the Christmas poems of Charles Causley. This event will take place in Launceston Library and will begin with Dr Williams giving a short reading of Causley poems including Christmas Pudding – a poem which describes how four icons of Christmas – the Pudding, the Turkey, the Tree and the Cracker all fear their fate at Christmas and decide to run away together. Children will then be able to make their own Christmas Cards using artwork based on the poems. This event is free and starts at 10.30 am.

Saturday 9th December: Dr Williams will give a keynote lecture on the poetry of Charles Causley – emphasising Causley’s influence on his own poetry and on twentieth century poetry more generally. He will be supported by the former Bishop of Truro, Bill Ind, and by Father Anthony Maggs who was a close friend of Causley. This event will take place in Launceston Town Hall at 7.30 pm. Tickets (£10; £8 for under 18s and those on benefits) are available through Launceston TIC or from

Sunday 10th December: Dr Williams will give the sermon at the Eucharist service to be held at St Thomas Church. St Thomas was the church where Causley’s grandmother and mother baked the bread for communion, where Causley was baptised and where both Causley and his mother are buried. This event is free but is ticketed. For tickets, you should contact your church in Launceston.

David Fryer, Chairman of the Charles Causley Trust, says “I am so pleased that Dr Williams is coming to Launceston and his visit is anticipated by many with great pleasure. It will be fascinating to hear him talk about Charles Causley and his poetry and it will be a fitting end to the Poet’s centenary year celebrations.”


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