Rowan’s Rule, by Rupert Shott

An unapologetically pro-Rowan biography of one of the best yet most unremarkable Archbishops of Canterbury of recent years. Rowan Williams’ tenure in the job perfectly illustrates the Biblical principle that “my strength is made perfect in your weakness”. This brilliant, compassionate, scholarly, gentle man seems completely unsuited for his job, and often showed it with an inability to come down from the ivory tower when it really might have been a good idea. Time and again a particular issue called for some sensitive political nous and he simply couldn’t disengage his unworldly, scholarly settings. He could always see both sides of the argument and often seemed unable to realise that other people didn’t. AND YET that very feature of his gave the Anglican church the flexibility that prevented it from tearing itself to pieces over issues of gender and sexuality in the first decade of this century. Sadly, those issues inevitably dominate this book because they dominated Rowan’s tenure. Just think, if all those dissenting Anglicans had had the grace and sense to shut up and get on with it, that amazing mind and compassion could have been turned towards issues that actually matter and then what a force the Anglican church might now be!