The Archbishop of Canterbury, Most Rev Justin Welby, has paid tribute to his mother, Lady Jane Williams, who passed away on Saturday aged 93.
“I loved her very deeply and it has been a privilege to be her son. I am the person I am in part because of her love, example and encouragement,” Archbishop Justin wrote in his tribute.
The 67-year-old said his mother had lived “a full human life with all its ups and downs” and praised her work as a prison visitor and her determination to assist individuals struggling with alcohol addiction, drawing from her recovery.
He wrote: “It’s with profound sadness that I mourn the loss of my mother. I loved her very deeply and it has been a privilege to be her son. I am the person I am in part because of her love, example and encouragement.
“Our whole family share in the loss of a mother, grandmother and great-grandmother. We are profoundly grateful to God for the gift she has been to us all – for all we received from her, and all she has meant to us. The grief we feel is a measure of the love we have shared. We will treasure the many memories we have of her: memories full of grace, laughter and joy.
“My mother lived a full human life, with all its ups and downs. Her story is one of redemption – which she found through faith in Jesus Christ, and loving service to others. In recovery from alcoholism, she helped countless others to know freedom from addiction.”
Last week, prayers were said at the Church of England’s General Synod for Archbishop Justin as he left the meeting to be with his mother, who was said to be in 'her last moments.'
Welby concluded his tribute: “Towards the end of her life she showed great courage, faith and hope. She knew she would soon be with God. That was a source of strength for her, and for all of us, and her death was peaceful and full of hope.
“I know that many people will be praying for me and my family at this time and we are deeply grateful. Losing those we love is an experience we all share. But grief is bearable if we bear it together – and we do so knowing the presence of the Good Shepherd who welcomes us into the house of God for evermore.”