Jonathan Wynne-Jones in a Telegraph article says that ++Rowan will step down at the end of next year. Read here and think about it.
The bits which make sense to me are these:
1. ++Rowan has academic life left in his brain so why would he see through 20 years as ABC?
2. ++Rowan cares enough for his successor to step down well before the next Lambeth (2018). That means, surely, no later than 2015. So end 2012, beginning 2013 is not very early by that benchmark. Planning needs to get underway with the new ABC at the helm.
3. ++Rowan by end 2012 will have overseen the legislation on women bishops in the C of E synod either well though its legislative track, or (unlikely) so batted back for reconsideration that there would be no point hanging around for the revised proposal to be seen through to a conclusion.
4. The quagmire the Communion has become re same-sex partnerships, the Covenant and what have you, will not be resolved quickly, and certainly not by 2015. So why not go when it suits ++Rowan rather than wait for some kind of way out of the quagmire to be achieved.
5. ++Rowan is the pre-eminent theological master of the English academic theological scene. Given that he has already had a career at Oxford University, the logical next step is a career at Cambridge University, and the most eminent college there (and the wealthiest re creating professorships) is Trinity.
I am putting some (hypothetical) money on Wynne-Jones to be right.
I am not putting any money on who would be the next ABC but I would be looking for the candidate no one else has thought of!