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Reason all the wives are here

To appreciate the Lambeth Spouses’ Conference, says Caroline Chartres, you have to understand bishops’ wives

THIS week, not only 657 bishops but 543 bishops’ spouses descended on Canterbury. Voltaire memorably observed that the English bishops were “forced to content themselves with one wife only, and that generally their own”. Certainly the Conference organisers are not expecting more than one spouse per bishop.

But why should there be a Spouses’ Conference at all? Isn’t it an anomaly, when more and more bishops’ wives are independently employed, and many are juggling jobs and ...

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