A working life: the Bishop of London

Sed Angli.

From dawn till dusk, the Diocese of London fills Richard Chartres’ exhausting schedule. He’s got an Oyster card, but finds his hybrid car a convenient compromise

by Anna Tims
The Guardian, Friday 19 August 2011 18.02 EDT

The Bishop of London is describing the weight of the episcopal burden. A bishop’s destiny, he says, is to be tossed about by storms while struggling to resolve the tension between leading and serving his people. The words, boomed sonorously at half a dozen worshippers gathered for the 8am Eucharist, are those of a fifth-century prelate, dismayed by the encumbrance of promotion.

It’s hard to imagine Richard Chartres, the formidable cleric who delivered the sermon at this year’s royal wedding, struggling with similar self-doubt. Confident leadership exudes from every fold of his purple cassock and this, coupled with exuberant facial hair, gives him the air of an Orthodox patriarch rather than the…

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