Stephen Williams retires as Senior Chaplain to the Universities in the Diocese of London at Easter. By then he will have served in University Chaplaincy for 34 years.
When I was an Area Director of Ordinands, I remember working closely with Stephen during the time that he was Chaplain to the London School of Economics from which a stream of gifted priests emerged under his aegis. It was in 1991 that he moved to become Senior Chaplain.
As Senior Chaplain he has engaged with HE institutions with perseverance and imagination. The result has been the establishment of new chaplaincies and more adequate resourcing of posts which have become deeply embedded and respected in the life and structures of the institutions they serve.
Most recently Stephen has suffered from ill health which has limited his activity. I shall always remember, however, his brilliant sermon at the licensing of a new Chaplain at the University of the Arts. A student dressed up to portray a “seal of approval” lifted a flipper to acknowledge a memorable articulation of the values and principles of our Chaplaincy service.
Stephen will be greatly missed and in giving thanks for his ministry among the 300,000 students and 75,000 members of staff of the universities and colleges in London we wish him and Claudine a long and happy retirement.