Archbishop Justin Welby has conferred a Lambeth Doctorate on the Revd Canon John Rees following his retirement as Provincial Registrar to the Archbishop of Canterbury earlier this year.
The Archbishop awarded Canon Rees a Lambeth Doctorate of Civil Law last night in recognition for his erudition and distinguished service as Provincial Registrar. The award was given during a service of Evening Prayer at Lambeth Palace, in the company of Canon Rees’s family, friends and former colleagues.
For over 20 years, Canon Rees held the offices of Registrar of the Diocese of Oxford, Registrar of the Province of Canterbury and Legal Adviser to the Anglican Consultative Council. He was a founder member, treasurer and, latterly, chairman of the Ecclesiastical Law Society. The Anglican Communion has benefited from his wisdom and knowledge through, amongst other things, the Windsor Report in 2004, and his role as Convenor of the Legal Advisors’ Network which published Principles of Canon Law Applicable to the Churches of the Anglican Communion for the Lambeth Conference in 2008.
Canon Rees has advised upon, assisted and enabled the ministry of the church at every level from individuals to parishes and dioceses, national churches and international bodies, assisting the Church in the fulfilment of the call to preach the gospel in season and out of season (2 Timothy 4. 2). Throughout this, as an ordained priest he has continued to minister in his local parish.
Archbishop Justin Welby said: “John Rees’s service as both priest and lawyer in the service of the Church has been exceptional. His expertise and wisdom have been coupled with careful nurture of colleagues, and humility as to his own significant achievements. Like so many I have benefited greatly from his advice, and I am delighted to be able to give him this public recognition. I am sure that John will continue to live out his discipleship and I thank God for his faithful and wise ministry. I pray for John, his wife and their whole family.”