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News archive 2006

Archbishop of Canterbury visits King's

08 May 2006

The Archbishop of Canterbury, and King's College London Visitor, Dr Rowan Williams, has spent today (Monday 8 May) at the College visiting the Guy's and Strand Campuses, meeting staff and students as well as attending services in the chapels on both campuses.

Dr Williams, who was elected Archbishop of Canterbury in 2002 having previously held the post of Archbishop of Wales, has been College Visitor since then, succeeding Dr George Carey.

The first part of the Archbishop's tour began at Guy's Campus where he was met by the Principal, Professor Rick Trainor, and the Dean of King's College, the Revd Dr Richard Burridge.

Dr Williams was first shown the Gordon Museum, which has a large and growing collection of approximately 8,000 pathological specimens together with a number of important historic collections. A visit to the Wolfson Building followed where he saw at first hand the work being undertaken in the area of stem cell research - an area in which King's is a world leader.

The tour proceeded to Guy's Chapel where Dr Williams met the Guy's Chaplain, James Buxton. The historic Guy's Hospital Chapel is a beautiful eighteenth century building which houses the tomb of Thomas Guy. It is also the resting place of Sir Astley Cooper, eminent 19th century surgeon and scientist, as well as other figures connected with Guy's.

The tour culminated with lunch where Dr Williams had the opportunity to meet students and staff from the Schools of Medicine, Dentistry and Biomedical & Health Sciences.

Strand tour

After lunch Dr Williams went to King's College London Students' Union in the Macadam Building on the Strand Campus. There he met members of the Students' Union, where they discussed issues of concern, including student debt and finances.

The Principal and the Dean then escorted Dr Williams on a tour of the newly refurbished South Range of the King's Building before having tea with staff and students.

In a short address to the assembled guests, Dr Williams said that he had enjoyed a very happy and memorable day at King's, and was pleased to have been able to meet so many staff and students from whom he had learnt a huge amount.

The Archbishop then preached at service in the Strand Chapel which was attended by Senior Officers and members of the College.

The College Chapel at the Strand is seen by many as the spiritual heart of the College. It is a focus for Christian worship at the Strand as well as a place of peace in a busy College. Designed by George Gilbert Scott in the 1860s, the Chapel has recently undergone a £1 million refurbishment.

The Dean commented: 'King's College London was founded by the then Archbishop of Canterbury in 1829 and we are proud of our continuing relationship with the Church of England and Lambeth Palace. We were delighted to welcome Dr Williams here today in his capacity as College Visitor and world class academic, and do all we can to support him in his important international role.'

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