Lambeth Palace has announced that Rowan Williams, Archbishop of Canterbury, will resign, effective in December. He will become the Master of Magdalene College, Cambridge. Info at the Lead and Thinking Anglicans.
I remember the joy on this side of the Atlantic which greeted his selection in 2003, a few months before General Convention 2003 which gave consent to the election of Gene Robinson as Bishop of New Hampshire. Much of his time in office has been spent dealing with the fallout from that event.
Williams is a brilliant man with a deep faith who held that office during a time of great difficulty. I wish him well and look forward to reading the theological and spiritual reflections that will come from serving in a position less burdened by controversy.
While I have made my disagreements with him public on this blog, I have enormous respect for him and am sorry to see him go. Speculation about his successor is of course already well underway, and several of the candidates mentioned would be much less open to change than he was (and probably even less skilled at diplomacy).
I will always remember the Sunday lunch we shared with him in Sewanee, years before he became ABC. He sat cross-legged, on the floor, eating corn on the cob. What a delightful image!