Dr George Carey, Archbishop of Canterbury will announce his retirement today, Tuesday 8th January at 11.00am UK time. He will retire at the end of October this year.
On hearing this news, Dr Peter Jensen, Archbishop of Sydney and Metropolitan of New South Wales released the following statement for media use:
"The news that the Archbishop of Canterbury is shortly to announce his retirement will be received with regret by the worldwide Anglican Communion.
"Dr George Carey has been an outstanding Christian leader, pastor and preacher, and theological educator throughout his ministry.
"A convinced evangelical, Dr Carey who grew up in the East End of London, studied at King's College, London and is the first Archbishop of Canterbury not to have attended Oxford or Cambridge universities.
"After a curacy at St Mary's Islington, George Carey served on the staff of the evangelical Oak Hill Theological College in North London from 1966 to 1970, after which he moved to St John's College, Nottingham. Following this, in 1975 he became Vicar of St Nicholas' Church, Durham, where the congregation grew by 300 percent after only a short period of his ministry there. In 1982 he was appointed Principal of Trinity College, Bristol.
"I benefited personally from his insights and experience when I visited Trinity College shortly after my appointment as Principal of Moore Theological College in 1985. Later I returned the welcome at Moore College when he last visited Australia in 1997.
"He became Bishop of Bath and Wells in 1988, but after only three years of leadership in that diocese, and to the surprise of most people in the Church of England, George Carey was appointed Archbishop of Canterbury by the Queen on the recommendation of the PM, Margaret Thatcher.
"In his role as Archbishop of Canterbury, George Carey has been a friend and advisor, and a 'listening ear' to Anglican bishops throughout the worldwide Communion. This is especially so for bishops in the developing world, who have their own unique pastoral difficulties, often unappreciated by bishops in the West. He and his wife Eileen have travelled widely during the last decade, and have assisted and counselled his episcopal colleagues and their wives in places such as the Sudan, the Middle East, Rwanda, Nigeria and Mozambique.
"He gave a strong lead to the discussions at the 1998 Lambeth Conference as the bishops focussed their attention on debt relief for the world's poorest nations, and also on human sexuality.
"On this latter matter George Carey encouraged biblically minded Anglicans when he indicated his personal support for the Lambeth resolution that disapproved of the ordination of practising homosexuals and church recognition of same-sex unions.
"The role of the Archbishop of Canterbury is multi-faceted. He is the diocesan bishop of the Canterbury Diocese, and as the Primate of All England is also the chief bishop in the Church of England, which entails a prominent place in the establishment of that country, and being a member of the House of Lords. As well as that he is the focus of relationship throughout the Anglican Communion, and the extent and demands of this particular role are often unrecognised and unappreciated within the Church of England itself.
"The development of closer relationships between the autonomous provinces of the Anglican Communion is perhaps George Carey's unique contribution as Archbishop of Canterbury.
"Both George and Eileen Carey have become friends to the entire Anglican world, and they will be greatly missed."