The National Deaneries Network

Supporting Deaneries in Mission

Bishop Ric Thorpe

Church growth – The Role of Deaneries

The Bishop of Islington, Rt Revd Ric Thorpe, will be addressing the conference on Friday evening 7th October 2016.


The Rt Revd Ric Thorpe has been Bishop of Islington since September 2015.

Before being appointed to Islington, Bishop Ric was the Bishop of London’s Adviser for Church Planting and Rector of St Paul’s Shadwell.

The role of Bishop of Islington – a revived post that had been vacant since 1923 – is to support London’s Church growth strategy as part of Capital Vision 2020, which sets a target of creating 100 new worshipping communities within the Diocese by 2020. As such, Bishop Ric is free from territorial responsibilities and focuses on supporting newly established worshipping communities both within London and at a national level, serving as a resource for the whole Church of England.

Bishop Ric also contributes to the School of Church Growth in association with the staff of St Mellitus theological college, both in London and at its hub in Liverpool.

At the time of his consecration at St Paul’s Cathedral, Bishop Ric commented:

“It’s a huge privilege to be part of a great team in this diverse city and to focus on starting new churches in a variety of contexts. There are so many opportunities and we want to do all we can to help churches reach new communities with the good news of Jesus Christ.”


Ric was brought up in a Christian home and his faith came alive at Birmingham University while studying Chemical Engineering. He has worked with GEC/Marconi, ICI, and Unilever, and with British evangelist, J.John, before joining Holy Trinity Brompton as worship director. He studied Theology at Wycliffe Hall, Oxford, returning to HTB as curate. In 2005, Ric and his wife, Louie, led a church plant to revitalize St Paul’s Shadwell. St Paul’s has itself planted four further Anglican churches and congregations, all in urban priority areas in Tower Hamlets, East London.

Ric has had a wider role as the Bishop of London’s Advisor for Church Planting and Tutor in Church Planting at St Mellitus College, helping church leaders around London and the UK to prepare and plant new churches. As Bishop of Islington, he is responsible for London Diocese’s goal of creating 100 New Worshipping Communities by 2020 and is available nationally to support Dioceses to plant new churches.

Ric and Louie have three children, Zoe, Barny and Toby, and an English springer spaniel called Tasha. He loves sailing, travel, chocolate, (occasional) exercise and has competed in the London Marathon and London Triathlon.

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