The guest speaker for The Cairo Lecture in late January 2010 was The Rt Revd and Rt Hon. Dr Richard Chartres, Bishop of London. Richard John Carew Chartres became the 132nd Bishop of London in November 1995. He was educated at Hertford Grammar School and studied history at Trinity College Cambridge. Before ordination he taught Ancient History at the International School in Seville. He was ordained in 1973 and served as a curate in St Andrew’s Bedford.
In 1975 he was appointed Chaplain to Robert Runcie, then Bishop of St Albans, and from 1980-84 he served as the Archbishop of Canterbury’s Chaplain. He moved to St Stephen’s Rochester Row in the Diocese of London in 1984. During eight years in the parish he also served as Director of Ordinands for the Central Area and as Gresham Professor of Divinity. He was consecrated Bishop of Stepney in 1992.
After his move to the see of London, he was appointed Dean of HM Chapels Royal in 1996 and a Privy Counsellor. This accounts for the curious fact that the Bishop of London is the only bishop who bears the title ‘Right Honourable’ in addition to the usual ‘Right Reverend’. He is an ex officio member of the House of Lords.
He is an Honorary Bencher of the Middle Temple, Chairman of the Ecumenical “London Church Leaders,” a director of Coexist Foundation - a charity promoting interfaith understanding - and is associated with numerous other London organisations. He is responsible on behalf of the Archbishop of Canterbury for relations with the Orthodox Churches.
He founded St Ethelburga’s Centre for Reconciliation and Peace is currently the Chairman of the Trustees. His publications include the book Tree of Knowledge, Tree of Life and many articles and essays especially on religion and the environment.
He serves on the foundational executive committee of the C-1 World Dialogue, a new high-level forum of global stature, dedicated to exploring the love of neighbor, with an emphasis on inter-religious and interfaith relations, that will carry on the work of the World Economic Forum’s C-100 unit. He is married to Caroline, a freelance writer, and they have four children – Alexander, Sophie, Louis and Clio.
His presentation for the Cairo Lecture, titled “Harmony in Four Dimensions,” immediately preceded the opening of the 2010 Caravan Festival of the Arts at St. John’s Church, which Bishop Richard officially opened for the Cairo community.