An Episcopal Dictionary of the Church

Richard, Bishop of Chichester

(c. 1197-Apr. 2 or 3, 1253). Bishop and clerical reformer. He studied at Oxford, Paris, and Bologna. Richard became university chancellor at Oxford around 1235. He was later appointed chancellor by the Archbishop of Canterbury, Edmund of Abingdon. Richard also served as chancellor of Canterbury under Boniface of Savoy. Richard was ordained priest in 1243, after study at the Dominican house at Orléans. He was elected Bishop of Chichester in 1244, even though King Henry III favored another candidate. Pope Innocent IV consecrated Richard at Lyons in 1245. Henry III excluded Richard from the temporalities of the See of Chichester. During this time, Richard traveled through his diocese on foot. Henry eventually acknowledged Richard in 1246 under a papal threat of excommunication. Richard was known for his humility and ascetic life. He was concerned for the poor. He sought to reform clerical discipline and standards. Richard was a patron of the Dominicans, and he supported the crusades. He contracted an illness and died while campaigning for a new crusade. Richard's life is commemorated on Apr. 3 in the calendar of the church year. The collect for this observance in Lesser Feasts and Fasts reflects a well-known prayer attributed to Richard, asking that “we may see Christ more clearly, love him more dearly, and follow him more nearly.” This prayer also provides the text for “Day by day,” Hymn 654 in The Hymnal 1982.

Glossary definitions provided courtesy of Church Publishing Incorporated, New York, NY,(All Rights reserved) from “An Episcopal Dictionary of the Church, A User Friendly Reference for Episcopalians,” Don S. Armentrout and Robert Boak Slocum, editors.