How I shall miss you. You enlarged my understanding of the world, of Christianity and of God. My wife kindly gave up her place so that I may have the opportunity of sitting next to you at a birthday celebration. I found you extraordinarily humble, wise, hospitable and holy, yet unsentimental and challenging.
But I met you mostly in your work – I know that you have had your critics, finding your writing inaccessible. So what if I had to stop on every page, at every paragraph to wonder what you were getting at? When I grasped just a little, you left me wondering… changed somehow. Are we not commanded to love God with our mind? Thank God you couldn’t be summed up in a sound bite, though they tried. Thank God you wouldn’t allow Christianity to be locked behind church doors, but talked about the market place, the public sphere. Many religious people didn’t take to you, nor those in power… you are in good company.
The finest since Anselm? I am not qualified to judge but it has been an honour and a privilege to have lived during the same time as you and to have had you as Archbishop. You recalled me time and again to what really mattered.
Farewell and God bless.