The Lord Chartres

Bishop of London
Lord Chartres, 2018
ChurchChurch of England
DioceseDiocese of London
In office1995–2017
PredecessorDavid Hope
SuccessorSarah Mullally
  • 1973 (deacon)
  • 1974 (priest)
Consecration22 May 1992[1]
Personal details
Born (1947-07-11) 11 July 1947 (age 76)
ResidenceThe Old Deanery, Dean's Court, London
Caroline Mary McLintock
(m. 1982)
Previous post(s)
Alma materTrinity College, Cambridge
Member of the House of Lords
Lord Spiritual
In office
22 January 1996 – 31 March 2017
Lord Temporal
In office
7 November 2017
 – Life Peer

Richard John Carew Chartres, Baron Chartres, GCVO, ChStJ, PC, FSA, FBS (/ˈɑːrtərz/;[2] born 11 July 1947), is a retired senior bishop of the Church of England.

Chartres served as 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, having been Gresham Professor of Divinity from 1987 to 1992. In October 2017, Chartres was created a life peer, and now sits as a crossbencher in the House of Lords, previously sitting as a Lord Spiritual.


Early life

Chartres was born at 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 read history before pursuing religious 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".[6]

Early ordained ministry

Chartres was ordained in the Church of England as a deacon in 1973 and as a priest in 1974. He served his curacy at St Andrew's Church, Bedford in the Diocese of St Albans. In 1975, he became domestic chaplain to Robert Runcie, then Bishop of St Albans; he continued in the role when Runcie became Archbishop of Canterbury. Then, in 1984, he joined St Stephen's Church, Rochester Row, in the Diocese of London, as its priest-in-charge. He was made its vicar in 1986, and continued to lead the parish until he was made a bishop in 1992.[7]

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 a 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.[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 enthroned as the Bishop of London,[12] also becoming Prelate of the Order of the British Empire,[13] Dean of the Chapels Royal and a Privy Counsellor. In 1997 he was appointed a Chaplain of the Most Venerable Order of Saint John (ChStJ).[14] An Honorary Bencher of the Middle Temple since 1998, he is a Liveryman of the Worshipful Companies of Merchant Taylors and of Drapers, and has been admitted as an Honorary Freeman of the Grocers', Vintners', Weavers' and the Woolmen's 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 both the Prince and Princess of Wales.[15] 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 WC2, to launch a new maintenance project for the capital's historic churches.[16]

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.[17] He preached the sermon at the wedding of Prince William and Catherine Middleton on 29 April 2011. In 2013, Chartres led the funeral service of Baroness Thatcher, with whom he had a close friendship.[18]

Chartres oversaw the Church of England's relations with the Eastern 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, at Saint Basil's Cathedral.

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 Chapels Royal until the next Bishop of London took post.[3] He retired as Dean following his 72nd birthday in July 2019, being succeeded by Dame Sarah Mullally.[19]

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.[20] 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!"[21] 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.[22]

In October 2008, the Independent on Sunday named Chartres as number 75 of the top 100 environmentalists in Britain on their "Green List".[23]


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

Personal life

In 1982, Chartres married Caroline (eldest 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.[27]

Lord Chartres is a member of the Garrick Club in London.

In 2023 he became a Vice President of the National Churches Trust.[28]

Honours and awards

Appointed a Chaplain of the Order of St John in 1997, and a Knight Commander of the Royal Victorian Order (KCVO) in the 2009 Queen's Birthday Honours,[29] Chartres was promoted Knight Grand Cross of the Royal Victorian Order (GCVO) on his retirement as Dean of the Chapels Royal on 11 July 2019: as is customary for Church of England clergy who receive the accolade of the realm, Chartres never used the honorific prefix of "Sir".

On 12 October 2017, it was announced that Chartres would be created a life peer, to sit on the crossbenches in the House of Lords, having previously sat on the Bishops' bench. Taking the title of Baron Chartres, of Wilton in the County of Wiltshire, he was introduced to the Upper House as a Lord Temporal on 7 November 2017.[30][31]

Lord Chartres played a leading role in the Coronation of Charles III and Camilla, carrying the Queen's Ring and presenting the Queen's Sceptre for blessing.[32]


Honorary degrees




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  2. ^ "Mind Your Language". The Spectator. 3 September 2008. Retrieved 27 June 2019.
  3. ^ a b "Bishop of London announces retirement in 2017". Diocese of London (Press release). 19 July 2016.
  4. ^ "Chartres, Baron, (Richard John Carew Chartres) (born 11 July 1947)". WHO'S WHO & WHO WAS WHO. doi:10.1093/ww/9780199540884.001.0001/ww-9780199540884-e-24884?d=u24884&p=monthaqob9uhfofw7e&query=0 (inactive 28 February 2024).((cite web)): CS1 maint: DOI inactive as of February 2024 (link)
  5. ^ Burke's Irish Family Records, 5th edition, ed. Hugh Montgomery-Massingberd, Burke's Peerage Ltd, 1976, p. 225
  6. ^ a b "Robbie Low Interviews The Rt Rev Richard Chartres". Trushare. 8 January 1996. Retrieved 24 August 2015.
  7. ^ "Richard John Carew Chartres". Crockford's Clerical Directory (online ed.). Church House Publishing. Retrieved 13 January 2024.
  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. No. 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. ^ "Kate Middleton confirmed in Church of England". BBC News. 13 April 2011.
  16. ^ "Support from on high for gutter project!". (Press release). Archived from the original on 30 October 2007. Retrieved 23 July 2008.
  17. ^ "Bishop in Easter lecture cruise". BBC News. 23 January 2006. Retrieved 24 March 2007.
  18. ^ "'The calm after the storm of life': The address by the Bishop of". The Independent. 17 April 2013.
  19. ^ "Dean of Her Majesty's Chapels Royal". The Royal Family. 15 May 2019. Retrieved 27 June 2019.
  20. ^ "Church launches Shrinking The Footprint campaign" (Press release). Church of England. 2 June 2006. Archived from the original on 11 June 2007. Retrieved 1 May 2007.
  21. ^ "O'Leary gives sermon to bishop on travel 'sins'". Irish Independent. 27 July 2006. Retrieved 24 March 2007.
  22. ^ Hickman, Leo (14 June 2007). "The green cross code". The Guardian.
  23. ^ "The IoS Green List: Britain's top 100 environmentalists". The Independent on Sunday. London. 12 October 2008. Archived from the original on 2 December 2008. Retrieved 13 October 2008.
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  28. ^ "Our Presidents and Patrons". National Churches Trust.
  29. ^ "No. 59090". The London Gazette (Supplement). 13 June 2009. p. 3.
  30. ^ "No. 62106". The London Gazette. 13 November 2017. p. 20838.
  31. ^ "Lord Chartres". UK Parliament. Retrieved 20 November 2017.
  32. ^ "Coronation order of service in full". BBC News. 5 May 2023. Retrieved 6 May 2023.
  33. ^ "July 11 Court Circular". The Times. 12 July 2019. Retrieved 3 July 2021.
  34. ^ London; Kingdom, United; Union, European. "The Rt Revd & Rt Hon. Richard Chartres". City, University of London. Retrieved 27 June 2019.
  35. ^ "Honorary graduates". City, University of London. Retrieved 27 June 2019.
  36. ^ "Honorary Graduates - Brunel University London". Retrieved 27 June 2019.
  37. ^ "Headlines - King's News Centre - King's College London". Retrieved 27 June 2019.
  38. ^ "Fellows Directory - Society of Antiquaries". Retrieved 27 June 2019.
  39. ^ "Honorary Fellows – Trinity College Cambridge". Archived from the original on 6 March 2017. Retrieved 13 January 2022.
Church of England titles Preceded byJim Thompson Bishop of Stepney 1992–1995 Succeeded byJohn Sentamu Preceded byDavid Hope Bishop of London 1995–2017 Succeeded bySarah Mullally