Updated Tuesday morning
The Sunday Times carried this report by Christopher Morgan yesterday: The bishop will be away this Easter…. The Times this morning carried a further report (not by their Religious Affairs correspondent) headlined Where will you find a bishop this Easter? A: In church B: On board a luxury liner.
The fact is that the bishop is having long overdue sabbatical leave, and for this reason would in any case have been absent this Easter. The text of his note today to London clergy appears below.
Stephen Bates in the Guardian reported this matter in a more balanced way in Clerics back bishop taking Easter cruise
Extract from Richard Chartres email to London clergy
You may have seen that the Sunday Times has very kindly advertised the fact of my sabbatical. This is the first in 33 years of ministry and ten years in London and I think I owe it to everyone else to retreat and go away for a while.
Unfortunately, because I am responsible for many things on the General Synod agenda, I cannot begin my sabbatical until February 13. I shall be away for just over two months, returning to duty on 24 April. I am very grateful to colleagues who will deputise for me during the period.
The Senior bishop, the Bishop of Kensington, will be officiating at the Easter Vigil in the Cathedral. I hope I have not left too much to burden very busy people excessively.
This week I am going to the Conference of European Churches in Rome with the Cardinal to participate in the planning of the third European Ecumenical Assembly. After the success of the great grassroots assemblies in Basle and Graz, the third is planned for Sibiu in September 2007. They happen about every ten years and give an opportunity for Christians of all confessions to pray together for Christian witness in Europe….