Williams was born in Penisarwaun, near Llanrug, and was educated at Brynrefail Grammar school and at Jesus College, Oxford. He took first-class honours in English in 1933, and theology in 1935. He was ordained as a deacon in 1937 and as a priest in 1938, and was a curate at St Asaph until 1940, when he was appointed chaplain at St . David's College, Lampeter. In 1945 he moved to Bangor to take up a post as chaplain and tutor at St. Mary's College, Bangor, and as Lecturer in Theology at the University of Wales, Bangor
In 1947 he became a Canon of Bangor Cathedral, and in 1948 moved to become headmaster of Llandovery College. He was elected Bishop of Bangor in 1957 and became Archbishop of Wales in 1971, also continuing as Bishop of Bangor until his retirement in 1982.
Williams gained prominence as a member of a deputation of three who challenged Margaret Thatcher in her attempt to reduce the status of the Welsh language. He was decisive in the decision to ordain women priests.
|Church in Wales titles|
John Charles Jones
|Bishop of Bangor
|Archbishop of Wales