Keeping a low profile
Lord Williams of Oystermouth, or Bishop Rowan, as he prefers to be known, is not enjoying the high profile of his predecessor but he has not altogether disappeared from view. Over Easter he was reported helping in a food kitchen in Cambridge and he has given an interview to Christian magazine. In this he says he is ‘excited’ by his successor’s appointment but unlike his predecessor does not appear to be worried by the advance of secularism. “Christianity has nothing to fear,” he says quite firmly. In an interview with Premier Christian Radio last month Bishop Rowan said he was not ‘rushing to the barricades’ to defend Christianity. “Don’t let’s imagine the advance of the kingdom of God is bound up with our being popular or influential,” he warned. He suggested that we are in a climate ‘where people don’t quite understand how religious conviction works very well’ so it’s not surprising that they ‘get themselves in a tangle about how to honour it publicly without honouring public universal provision’. Meanwhile American theologian Stanley Hauerwas has hailed Rowan Williams for teaching us ‘the art of ordinary living’ without grand gestures or heroic actions. He told the ABC in Australia that Williams showed how to live with and attend to the ‘church as it is’.