Like your predecessor Michael Ramsey, who openly disliked the established nature of the Church and fled abroad to escape it as often as possible, you seem to have been seduced by the charms of warmer climes and the easily acquired plaudits of black Anglicans, who see you not as an ineffectual archbishop of Canterbury but as a Great White God, or at least an Anglican Flying Pope.
With Anglo-Catholic clergy packing their bags for Rome, a third of the Church of England still opposed to women's ordination, livings frozen because Church Commissioners have mishandled the Church's finances, evangelical charismatic fundamentalists chanting gibberish, you are, as I say, hardly ever here.
Papua New Guinea, Jordan, Israel, the United States, Falkland Islands, North Carolina, Normandy, Rome, Prague, Istanbul, Sri Lanka, South Africa, Korea, Tanzania and Sudan; these are the spots on which you prefer to bestow your patronage, fitting in as many as seven visits overseas every year.
But, rather than resign as archbishop of Canterbury, you could, of course, chuck in the presidency of the Lambeth Conference and the Anglican Consultative Council. That would still leave you with a diocese to run and the chairmanship of the Church Commission and joint chairmanship of the General Synod and the Crown Appointments Commission - quite enough for one person, surely?
Have you considered it at all? I know all the arguments for the senior primate of the oldest Church in the Anglican Communion, with 1.2 million worshippers, continuing to behave as if the 70 million Anglicans worldwide still sit at his feet. But you have virtually abdicated to the Archbishop of York the primary task for which you were selected as successor to St Augustine, that of sorting out the ordination of women. There has been no sign these past two-and-a-half years that you have a contribution to make to any other area of the Church's life - in Britain at any rate. So perhaps the time has come to make a choice - between Lambeth Palace and the VIP lounge at Heathrow.
(Photograph omitted)Reuse content