The Archbishop of Canterbury has paid tribute to Sir William Fittall who has died at the age of 68.
Sir William was Secretary-General of the Archbishops' Council and the General Synod from 2002 until 2015.
The Rt Rev Justin Welby has released a statement and spoke of Sir William’s ‘tireless service’ he said: “I am deeply sad to hear of the death of William Fittall, who as well as being a valued colleague was also a dear and much-loved friend for over forty years.
“His tireless service to the Church of England, as Secretary General of the Archbishops Council, exemplified the kind of man he was: exceptionally able, respected by all, dedicated to the church and committed to Christ.
“As a Reader, and as a gifted organist, he served his local church faithfully for very many years. The Church of England owes him a great debt of gratitude.
“In the years before he was Secretary General he was a distinguished and effective civil servant, working on issues of security, reconciliation and seeking to bring hope in dark times.
“I pray for William’s family and friends, who will miss him greatly, to be comforted and sustained by God in this time of grief. May he have found, in the eternal arms of his beloved God, the peace that passes all understanding.”
During Sir William’s time as Secretary General he notably helped to ensure the passage of the legislation enabling women to be bishops, and the accompanying arrangements.
Before joining the Church professionally, his civil service career saw him undertake roles in the Home Office, the Northern Ireland Office and Cabinet Office.
The Archbishop of York, Stephen Cottrell has also paid tribute to him and said: “William Fittall was a faithful follower of Jesus Christ and a wise servant of the Church of England.
“He used his many gifts and talents in the service of the kingdom and will be much missed. May he rest in peace and rise in glory.”