Dr Rowan Williams is welcoming if wary when cameraman Chris Warner and I visit him at Magdalene College Cambridge. Being interviewed by a journalist, he tells me, feels like 'a real conversation' but can instead become a series of 'bear traps.'
The former Archbishop of Canterbury has good reason to be cautious.
His relationship with the press has not always been a happy one, with several of his remarks stirring up media storms which clearly unsettled him. In 2008 he was forced to deny that he backed the application of Islamic Sharia Law in Britain.
There is irony in Dr William's reputation for controversy, given that he spent much of his time as Archbishop of Canterbury working as a peacemaker, painstakingly holding a divided church together. Whilst he was the leader of the Church of England, the Anglican Communion was at times in danger of splitting apart, most notably on the issue of women bishops. The debate on whether or not women should take on the Church's highest office remains a live and painful issue.
Today Dr Williams declined to comment on tomorrow's General Synod meeting which might see the ordination of women bishops come a step closer to reality. 'That's for my successor,' he says politely but firmly, adding that he wouldn't want to step on the current Church leader's toes.
The Master of Magdalen College has however, lost none of his passion or outspokenness when it comes to another question close to his heart: society's treatment of the poor. Since returning to Cambridge, Dr Williams has been working with the city's Foodbank.
Dr Williams singled out one programme in particular for criticism - Channel 4's 'Benefits Street.' The programme has sparked controversy over whether it exploits or accurately represents the lives of residents on James Turner Street in Birmingham, who live on benefits.
The Master of Magdalene College made it clear where he stands on the debate.
This December the Work and Pensions Secretary Ian Duncan Smith criticised the charity the Trussell Trust, which run foodbanks across the UK, including the Cambridge branch, for being 'politically motivated.' His remarks were in response to the charity's claim that it is seeing more hungry people seek its aid due to cuts in benefits.
Dr Williams called the minister's statement a 'disturbing attack.'
It's now been just over a year since Dr Rowan Williams has given up the weightiest office in the Anglican Church. I ask him how his relationship with the Church has changed. He laughs and tells me that avoiding the constant media scrutiny has been very welcome, adding that he is enjoying being an ordinary Christian again.
Yet with his passion for speaking out on the causes he believes in, it seems unlikely that Dr Williams will ever entirely escape media attention and he looks set to remain a far from ordinary figure.