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Richard Chartres

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Richard Chartres

The Rt Revd and Rt Hon
Richard Chartres
Bishop of London
Church Church of England
Diocese Diocese of London
Installed 1995
Predecessor David Hope
Ordination 1973 (deacon)
1974 (priest)
Consecration 22 May 1992[1]
Personal details
Born (1947-07-11) 11 July 1947
Ware, Hertfordshire, England, UK
Nationality British
Denomination Anglican
Residence The Old Deanery, Dean's Court, London
Spouse Caroline McLintock
(married 1982)
Children Alexander, Sophie, Louis and Clio
Previous post Gresham Professor of Divinity
Area Bishop of Stepney
Alma mater Trinity College, Cambridge

Richard John Carew Chartres, KCVOFSAChStJPC (born 11 July 1947) is an English Anglican bishop. He became Bishop of London in 1995. He also joined the British Privy Council in 1995. Before this appointment, he was area Bishop of Stepney from 1992 to 1995 and Gresham Professor of Divinity from 1987 to 1992.


  • Life 1
    • Early life 1.1
    • Priest 1.2
    • Gresham professor 1.3
    • Bishop 1.4
    • Green issues 1.5
    • Patronage 1.6
  • Personal life 2
  • Honours and awards 3
    • Honours 3.1
    • Honorary degrees 3.2
  • Styles 4
  • References 5
  • External links 6


Early life

Chartres was born in Ware, Hertfordshire to an English mother and an Irish Huguenot father.[2] He was educated at Hertford Grammar School (now Richard Hale School) and Trinity College, Cambridge (MA), where he studied history before his theological studies at Cuddesdon and Lincoln theological colleges (BD).

He has spoken of his great-uncle, John Chartres, "...called [the] 'Mystery Man of the Treaty' was a member of Sinn Féin and a Protestant civil servant. He was also undoubtedly a gun runner for Michael Collins."[3]


Chartres was ordained as a priest in 1974. During this time he was chaplain to Robert Runcie, then Bishop of St Albans and later Archbishop of Canterbury. He received a Lambeth Bachelor of Divinity degree and holds honorary doctorates from Brunel University, City University London, London Metropolitan University, St. Mary's University College, and London Guildhall University.

Gresham professor

From 1987 to 1992, he was Professor of Divinity at Gresham College in London. Based on a three-part lecture series given in May 1992, he published A Brief History of Gresham College 1597–1997.[4] During the first lecture of the original lecture series he referred to the college as a "magical island like Atlantis" disappearing and re-emerging from the sea. This was a reference both to the Invisible College and Francis Bacon's New Atlantis.

Other Gresham lectures by Chartres covered the Shroud of Turin (November 1988) and the Church of the Holy Sepulchre in Jerusalem (December 1989) when he spoke about the Gresham Jerusalem Project, and prayer (Autumn 1991).[5]


On 15 May 1992, Chartres was nominated[6] area Bishop of Stepney. He was consecrated as bishop on 22 May 1992.[1]

In November 1995, Chartres was confirmed as the Bishop of London.[7] He also became Prelate of the Order of the British Empire[8] and Dean of the Chapels Royal. He is a Privy Counsellor. In 1997 he was appointed a chaplain of the Most Venerable Order of Saint John (ChStJ).[9] He is an Honorary Bencher of the Middle Temple, a Liveryman of the Merchant Taylors' Company and of the Worshipful Company of Vintners, an Honorary Freeman of the Weavers' and the Woolmen Companies.

In 1997, Chartres was one of the executors of the will of Diana, Princess of Wales and delivered an address at her memorial service in 2007. He confirmed Prince William. On 12 September 2009 he presided at the marriage of Lord Frederick Windsor to actress Sophie Winkleman at the Chapel Royal in Hampton Court Palace.

Chartres is the founder and chairman of the trustees of the St Ethelburga's Centre for Reconciliation and Peace. He is also a trustee of Coexist, sitting on the advisory council of the Tony Blair Faith Foundation. In October 2005, he joined Marianne Suhr at St Giles in the Fields, London, to launch a new maintenance project for the capital's historic churches.[10]

In January 2006, Chartres was criticised by the media for his decision to spend Easter on a cruise ship giving lectures on theology rather than attend the services at St Paul's Cathedral. At the time, Chartres was on a two-month sabbatical, his first in 33 years.[11] He preached the sermon at the wedding of Prince William and Kate Middleton on 29 April 2011. In 2013, Chartres led the state funeral service of Baroness Thatcher to whom he had a close friendship.

Chartres is responsible for the Church of England's relations with the Orthodox churches, representing the Church of England at the funeral of Patriarch Alexy II of Moscow of the Russian Orthodox Church and the enthronement of his successor, Kirill I, in Moscow.

Green issues

Since its launch in 2006, Chartres has led the Church of England's "shrinking the footprint" campaign, aimed at cutting 80% of the church's carbon emissions by 2050.[12] In the launch and subsequently, Chartres criticised pollution of the planet by people going on holidays by plane. Michael O'Leary, boss of the low-cost airline Ryanair, responded that "the Bishop of London has got empty churches – presumably if no one went on holidays perhaps they might turn up and listen to his sermons. God bless the Bishop!"[13] Also, after criticism that his taking flights for "diocese work" as well as retaining a chauffeur-driven car were against the ideals of this campaign, he pledged not to fly for a year.[14]

In October 2008, the Independent on Sunday named Chartres as number 75 of the top 100 environmentalists in Britain on their "Green List".[15]


Chartres is a patron of various organisations, including:

  • The Burgon Society for the study of academical dress (also a fellow)
  • The Georgian Group
  • The Prayer Book Society of Great Britain (ecclesiastical patron)
  • Prospex, a charity which works with young people in North London
  • St Paul's Theological Centre
  • The Tower Hamlets Friends & Neighbours, a charity which works with older people in East London
  • The Westminster Theological Centre
  • The Choral Foundation, Hampton Court Palace

Personal life

In 1982, Chartres married Caroline (daughter of Sir Alan McLintock), then a freelance writer and now the commissioning editor of a publishing house, with whom he has four children; Alexander, Sophie, Louis and Clio. He is also a member of the Oriental Club in London.

Honours and awards

Chartres was appointed Knight Commander of the Royal Victorian Order (KCVO) in the 2009 Queen's Birthday Honours.[16] In 1999 he was elected a fellow of the Society of Antiquaries of London (FSA).


Honorary degrees


  • Richard Chartres Esq (1965–1973)
  • The Revd Richard Chartres (1973–1986)
  • The Revd Professor Richard Chartres (1986–1992)
  • The Rt Revd Richard Chartres (1992–1995)
  • The Rt Revd and Rt Hon Richard Chartres (1995–2010)
  • The Rt Revd and Rt Hon Richard Chartres KCVO (2010–present)


  1. ^ a b Diocese of London – Bishop of London biography
  2. ^ Robbie Low interview with Chartres
  3. ^ Robbie Low interview, 8 January 1996; accessed 24 August 2015.
  4. ^ Chartres, Richard; Vermont, David (1998). A Brief History of Gresham College 1597–1997. London: Gresham College. p. 100.  
  5. ^
  6. ^ The London Gazette: no. 52923. p. 8409. 15 May 1992. Retrieved 2008-01-04.
  7. ^ The London Gazette: no. 54203. p. 14961. 6 November 1995. Retrieved 2008-01-04.
  8. ^ The London Gazette: no. 54231. p. 16345. 1 December 1995. Retrieved 2008-01-04.
  9. ^ The London Gazette: no. 54652. p. 595. 16 January 1997. Retrieved 2008-01-04.
  10. ^ "Support from on high for gutter project!",, accessed 23 July 2008
  11. ^ "Bishop in Easter lecture cruise".  
  12. ^ Church launches Shrinking The Footprint campaign, Church of England, published 2006-06-02, accessed 2007-05-01
  13. ^ "'"O'Leary gives sermon to bishop on travel 'sins.  
  14. ^ , 14 June 2007The GuardianThe green cross code,
  15. ^ Green List: Britain's top 100 environmentalists"IoS"The .  
  16. ^ The London Gazette: (Supplement) no. 59090. p. 3. 13 June 2009.

External links

  • Biography on the Diocese of London's website
  • Information on The Peerage website
  • Interview at the World Economic Forum 2011 about faith and climate change
  • websiteDebrett's People of TodayInformation on the
  • Information on the British Parliament website
Church of England titles
Preceded by
Jim Thompson
Bishop of Stepney
Succeeded by
John Sentamu
Preceded by
David Hope
Bishop of London
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