Of all the animals of prey, man is the only sociable one.
Every one of us preys upon his neighbour, and yet we herd together.
The Beggar's Opera: John Gay

Saturday 17 March 2012

"You can go your Rowan way..."

Oh dear, what can the matter be?
What can this frenzy of media chatter be?
Williams resigns as Archbishop of Canterbury
Under the full public gaze.

He’s known as a liberal ecclesiastic
Unworldly enough to be seen as monastic;
Perhaps it’s a shame that divisions so drastic
Have prefaced the parting of ways.

Should he have borrowed the boldness of Becket
Opposing a policy, tried hard to wreck it?
It’s not as if he’d get a sword in the neck, it’s
Just not how we do things these days.

He staunchly supports ecumenicalism
Though less of a liberal when wielding the chrism;
His treatment of bishops may yet lead to schism
At least when they’re women or gays.

He tried very hard with his bishops “co-ordinate” -
Fuss from the feminist wing was inordinate -
Doubtless he felt the support of the Lord in at-
Tempting to have it both ways.

Amid all the media squabbling and warbling
You certainly cannot accuse him of dawdling
He’s bagging a billet as Master of Magdalene;
Long may the old sheep safely graze.


  1. It's what's coming which is the worry.

  2. Thank you, Julia/Mark.

    JH, I did think of doing a verse on the potential successors (especially since the Times has helpfully calculated odds for each one) but the piece was getting a bit long - and I had already spent ages racking my brains for something to rhyme with 'Sentamu'.


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