Richard Chartres

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The Lord Chartres

Bishop of London
Richard Chartres Bishop of London.jpg
ChurchChurch of England
DioceseDiocese of London
In office1995–2017
PredecessorDavid Hope
SuccessorSarah Mullally
Ordination1973 (deacon)
1974 (priest)
Consecration22 May 1992[1]
Personal details
Born (1947-07-11) 11 July 1947 (age 73)
Ware, Hertfordshire, United Kingdom
ResidenceThe Old Deanery, Dean's Court, London
SpouseCaroline McLintock
(married 1982)
ChildrenAlexander, Sophie, Louis and Clio
Previous postGresham Professor of Divinity
Area Bishop of Stepney
Alma materTrinity College, Cambridge
Member of the House of Lords
Assumed office
7 November 2017
as Lord Temporal
In office
22 January 1996 – 31 March 2017
as Lord Spiritual

Richard John Carew Chartres, Baron Chartres, GCVO, ChStJ, PC, FSA, OBE, FBS (/ˈɑːrtərz/;[2] born 11 July 1947) is a retired bishop of the Church of England. He was area Bishop of Stepney from 1992 to 1995 and Bishop of London from 1995 to 2017.[3] He was sworn of the Privy Council in the same year he became Bishop of London. He was also Gresham Professor of Divinity from 1987 to 1992. In October 2017, Chartres was made a Life Peer, and he now sits in the House of Lords as a crossbencher; he had previously sat in the House as one of the Lords Spiritual


Early life[edit]

Chartres was born in Ware, Hertfordshire to Richard Arthur Carew Chartres and Charlotte, daughter of William Day, of London; the Chartres family were Irish gentry of Huguenot origin.[4][5][6] 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.

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."[7]


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[edit]

From 1987 to 1992, he was aProfessor 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.[8] 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 as well as on prayer (1991).[9]


On 15 May 1992, Chartres was nominated[10] area Bishop of Stepney. He was consecrated as bishop on 22 May 1992 at St Paul's Cathedral, by George Carey, Archbishop of Canterbury.[11]

In November 1995, Chartres was confirmed as the Bishop of London.[12] He also became Prelate of the Order of the British Empire[13] and Dean of the Chapel Royal. He is a Privy Counsellor. In 1997 he was appointed a chaplain of the Most Venerable Order of Saint John (ChStJ).[14] 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.[15]

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.[16] He preached the sermon at the wedding of Prince William and Catherine Middleton on 29 April 2011. In 2013, Chartres led the state funeral service of Baroness Thatcher, with whom he had a close friendship.[citation needed]

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.

On 19 July 2016, it was announced that Chartres was to retire as Bishop of London effective from Shrove Tuesday, 28 February 2017, but remain as Dean of the Chapel Royal until the next Bishop of London was in post.[3] He retired as Dean following his 72nd birthday in July 2019.[17]

Green issues[edit]

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.[18] 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!"[19] 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.[20]

In October 2008, the Independent on Sunday named Chartres as number 75 of the top 100 environmentalists in Britain on their "Green List".[21]


Chartres is an ambassador for wildlife charity WWF and a patron of various other organisations, including:

  • The Burgon Society for the study of academical dress (also a Fellow)
  • The Georgian Group
  • Paintings in Hospitals, a charity that provides art for health and social care in England, Wales and Northern Ireland
  • The Prayer Book Society of England (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
  • The Nigerian Chaplaincy - a registered UK charity

Personal life[edit]

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 Garrick Club in London.

Honours and awards[edit]

Chartres was appointed Knight Commander of the Royal Victorian Order (KCVO) in the 2009 Queen's Birthday Honours.[22] He was raised to the rank of Knight Grand Cross of the Royal Victorian Order (GCVO) on his retirement as Dean of the Chapel Royal on 11 July 2019. As is customary for Church of England clergymen, however, he did not use the style Sir Richard before his elevation to the peerage.

On 12 October 2017, it was announced that Chartres would be appointed a Life Peer, retaking a seat in the House of Lords where he previously served as one of the Lords Spiritual during his time as Bishop of London. Chartres was created a Life Peer on 7 November 2017 taking the title Baron Chartres, of Wilton in the County of Wiltshire.[23] He joined the House of Lords on that day, and sits in the House as a crossbencher.[24]


Honorary degrees[edit]



  • The Reverend Richard Chartres (1973–1986)
  • The Reverend Professor Richard Chartres (1986–1992)
  • The Right Reverend Richard Chartres (1992–1995)
  • The Right Reverend and Right Honourable Richard Chartres (1995–2010)
  • The Right Reverend and Right Honourable Richard Chartres, The Lord Bishop of London KCVO (2010–2017)
  • The Right Reverend and Right Honourable The Lord Chartres KCVO PC (7 November 2017 – 2019)
  • The Right Reverend and Right Honourable The Lord Chartres GCVO PC (2019 – present)


  1. ^ Diocese of London – Bishop of London biography Archived 9 May 2008 at the Wayback Machine
  2. ^ "Mind Your Language". The Spectator. 3 September 2008. Retrieved 27 June 2019.
  3. ^ a b Diocese of London — Bishop of London announces retirement in 2017 (Accessed 19 July 2016)
  4. ^
  5. ^ Burke's Irish Family Records, 5th edition, ed. Hugh Montgomery-Massingberd, Burke's Peerage Ltd, 1976, p. 225
  7. ^ Robbie Low interview,, 8 January 1996; accessed 24 August 2015.
  8. ^ Chartres, Richard; Vermont, David (1998). A Brief History of Gresham College 1597–1997. London: Gresham College. p. 100. ISBN 0-947822-16-X.
  9. ^ "A New Jerusalem: Reaching for Heaven, 1130-1300". Retrieved 27 June 2019.
  10. ^ "No. 52923". The London Gazette. 15 May 1992. p. 8409.
  11. ^ "picture caption". Church Times (#6746). 29 May 1992. p. 2. ISSN 0009-658X. Retrieved 3 September 2020 – via UK Press Online archives.
  12. ^ "No. 54203". The London Gazette. 6 November 1995. p. 14961.
  13. ^ "No. 54231". The London Gazette. 1 December 1995. p. 16345.
  14. ^ "No. 54652". The London Gazette. 16 January 1997. p. 595.
  15. ^ "Support from on high for gutter project!" Archived 30 October 2007 at the Wayback Machine,, accessed 23 July 2008
  16. ^ "Bishop in Easter lecture cruise". BBC News. 23 January 2006. Retrieved 24 March 2007.
  17. ^ "Dean of Her Majesty's Chapels Royal". The Royal Family. 15 May 2019. Retrieved 27 June 2019.
  18. ^ Church launches Shrinking The Footprint campaign Archived 11 June 2007 at the Wayback Machine, Church of England, published 2006-06-02, accessed 2007-05-01
  19. ^ "O'Leary gives sermon to bishop on travel 'sins'". Irish Independent. 27 July 2006. Retrieved 24 March 2007.
  20. ^ The green cross code, The Guardian, 14 June 2007
  21. ^ "The IoS Green List: Britain's top 100 environmentalists". The Independent on Sunday. London. 12 October 2008. Retrieved 13 October 2008.
  22. ^ "No. 59090". The London Gazette (Supplement). 13 June 2009. p. 3.
  23. ^ "No. 62106". The London Gazette. 13 November 2017. p. 20838.
  24. ^ "Lord Chartres". UK Parliament. Retrieved 20 November 2017.
  25. ^ London; Kingdom, United; Union, European. "The Rt Revd & Rt Hon. Richard Chartres". City, University of London. Retrieved 27 June 2019.
  26. ^ "Honorary graduates". City, University of London. Retrieved 27 June 2019.
  27. ^ "Honorary Graduates - Brunel University London". Retrieved 27 June 2019.
  28. ^ "Headlines - King's News Centre - King's College London". Retrieved 27 June 2019.
  29. ^ [1]
  30. ^ "Fellows Directory - Society of Antiquaries". Retrieved 27 June 2019.

External links[edit]

Church of England titles
Preceded by
Jim Thompson
Bishop of Stepney
Succeeded by
John Sentamu
Preceded by
David Hope
Bishop of London
Succeeded by
Sarah Mullally