10 July 2015
First church planting bishop appointed by Church of England
Bishop Ric Thorpe with Bishop of London Richard Chartres. Picture from London Anglican.
The Church of England has appointed the first 'church planting' bishop to fulfill plans of establishing 100 new worshipping communities in London.
The Rev Ric Thorpe has been approved as the first Bishop of the Suffragan See of Islington in the Diocese of London since its suspension in 1923.
He is to be the UK’s first bishop for church planting and his main aim will be on planting new churches and congregations in the area. Educated at Birmingham University and for ministry at Wycliffe Hall, Thorpe worked with St Pauls in 2005 in what has been referred to as an "excellent example of a successful plant".
He took a team of 100 to the parish, and then went on to send four plants to Church of England churches in Tower Hamlets. He has also worked as an advisor to many other dioceses, helping them to improve their church planting.
While speaking to Christian Today, he said: “It is a huge privilege to be called to serve as a new bishop in the diocese with a special focus on planting and growing churches so that we can reach more of the people of this great world city with the good news of Jesus Christ. "
"My prayer is that God will continue to guide us to new places, in new ways, and give us boldness to proclaim this good news in our generation." The new bishop will be working towards the diocese's target of planting 100 new worshipping communities by 2020.