Chelmsford Anglican Mainstream, quoting the Durham Times, announces that
THE Bishop of Durham is to retire.
But that is in fact a misleading way to put it; the Church Times Blog is more accurate in its headline Bishop of Durham to step down. The truth (at least I assume it is the truth – here quoting the Church Times post but the Durham Times confirms it) is that Bishop N.T. Wright “will be moving to the University of St Andrews to take up an academic post”. Maybe, at age 62, he is able to collect his pension from the Church of England, but he can supplement it with an academic salary. Of course that won’t make him rich, and he will have to vacate the mediaeval castle which is his official home as Bishop.
The bad news is that he is leaving not just the Church of England but also England itself, for the remote but prestigious small Scottish town of St Andrews. The good news is that, in his new appointment as a research professor, he will have more time to give to his important academic work.
Meanwhile this will leave a vacancy in the Church of England’s third most important diocese. I can already suggest a candidate for this post: Archbishop Rowan Williams. He would make an excellent Bishop of Durham, traditionally a post for a top theologian as the diocesan responsibilities are relatively light. By accepting this move Rowan can set aside with honour the political bits he doesn’t like of being Archbishop of Canterbury, and spend the last decade of his working life (until retirement at 70, in 2020) in a post more suitable for his skills.