Laurie Green

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For other people named Laurence Green, see Laurence Green (disambiguation).
The Right Reverend
Laurie Green
Church Church of England
Diocese Diocese of Chelmsford
In office 1993 – 28 February 2011
Predecessor Derek Bond
Successor John Wraw
Ordination 24 May 1970[1]
Consecration 23 February 1993[2]
Personal details
Born (1945-12-26) 26 December 1945 (age 71)
East End of London[2]
Nationality British
Denomination Anglican
Residence Bishop’s House, Horndon-on-the-Hill[1]
Spouse Victoria (1969—)[1]
Children 2 daughters[1]
Alma mater King's College London

Laurence Alexander "Laurie" Green (born 26 December 1945) is a retired British Anglican bishop. He was the Bishop of Bradwell from 1993 to 2011.[3]

Early career and ministry[edit]

Laurie Green was born in Newham in the East End of London, the son of a bus driver and factory worker. As a young man he worked in a jellied-eel factory and then as a hairdresser. He was educated at East Ham Grammar School and King's College London (BD, AKC) and then at the New York Theological Seminary (STM, DMin).[4] There he studied the dynamics of East Harlem gangs and attained his master's degree in psychology and pastoral studies. After further studies at St Augustine's College, Canterbury, he was ordained in 1970.[5] He was a curacy at St Mark's Kingstanding, Birmingham, after which he was vicar of Erdington, where he set up an ecumenical parish at Spaghetti Junction with local Methodists.

During his time in Birmingham he initiated work in urban theology, worked with Hells Angels and skinheads and had his own BBC Radio programme. He also worked as Assistant Youth Officer for the diocese and as Industrial Chaplain to the British Steel Corporation. At the same time he became an honorary lecturer at the Urban Theology Unit, Sheffield University;[6] For seven years, he was the principal of the Aston Training Scheme for Anglican ordinands, before returning to East London to become, before his ordination to the episcopate, team rector of All Saints, Poplar.[7] Poplar is situated in London’s East End, where his parish had the new financial quarter of Canary Wharf being built at one end, in close proximity to the tower-blocks of abject poverty at the other.

Episcopal ministry[edit]

In 1993, Green moved to Essex to become the Bishop of Bradwell, where he served for eighteen years before retiring to Bexhill in Sussex.

Within the Diocese of Chelmsford, Green's Episcopal Area of Bradwell covered such towns as Basildon, Tilbury Docks, Southend, Maldon, Brentwood and Chelmsford as well as the deep rural areas of the Dengie peninsula where a stone chapel was built by St Cedd in 654 AD in Bradwell. Green then lived near to the River Thames, by the Dartford Tunnel & Bridge. He was a member of the Archbishop of Canterbury's Urban Theology Group, served on the Urban Bishops’ Panel of the Church of England and as chair of the Church of England's Urban Strategy Consultative Group. He was instrumental in the setting up of an International Anglican Commission and Network on Global Urbanisation.

On 11 February 2017, Green was one of fourteen retired bishops to sign an open letter to the then-serving bishops of the Church of England. In an unprecedented move, they expressed their opposition to the House of Bishops' report to General Synod on sexuality, which recommended no change to the Church's canons or practises around sexuality.[8] By 13 February, a serving bishop (Alan Wilson, Bishop of Buckingham) and nine further retired bishops had added their signatures;[9] on 15 February, the report was rejected by synod.[10]


Green has written extensively on the nature of theology, international debt and urban mission. His Let’s Do Theology (revised in 2009) was described by Leonardo Boff{[11][citation needed] as an authentic liberation theology for the English-speaking world, and by Elaine Graham as "a classic text".[12][citation needed] Another two of his books, "Power to the Powerless" and "Urban Ministry and the Kingdom of God", were named by the Church Times among its "Books of the Year", whilst others have been translated into many languages. In 2015 he published Blessed are the Poor? Urban Poverty and the Church which seeks to demonstrate that the incarnation of Christ amongst the poor suggests that it is amongst the poor that we will learn the lessons of God's kingdom.

Family and retirement[edit]

A jazz devotee, blues and classical guitar player and lover of folk music,[13] Green continues to give public concerts and produce CDs. He is married with two children.

Green remains founding-chair of the National Estate Churches Network (NECN) and in retirement, works alongside the Church Urban Fund as Chair and Development Officer for the NECN in the support of the church’s work on the poorer housing estates and projects of the UK. He also continues to work as a founding trustee of the charity Friends of the Poor in South India. He is also the bishop visitor to the Anglican Benedictine community of religious sisters at Malling Abbey, Kent.


  • The Reverend Laurie Green (24 May 1970 – 1982)
  • The Reverend Doctor Laurie Green (1982 – 23 February 1993)
  • The Right Reverend Doctor Laurie Green (23 February 1993 – present)


  1. ^ a b c d Curriculum Vitae
  2. ^ a b Profile
  3. ^ Anglican Communion
  4. ^ Who's Who 2008: London, A & C Black ISBN 978-0-7136-8555-8
  5. ^ Crockford's Clerical Directory 2008/2009 Lambeth, Church House Publishing ISBN 978-0-7151-1030-0
  6. ^ UTU, Sheffield
  7. ^ Church web site
  8. ^ Retired Bishops' Letter — The Letter (Accessed 11 February 2017; the fourteen bishops were David Atkinson, Michael Doe, Tim Ellis, David Gillett, John Gladwin, Green, Richard Harries, Stephen Lowe, Stephen Platten, John Pritchard, Peter Selby, Tim Stevens, Martin Wharton, and Roy Williamson.)
  9. ^ Retired Bishops' Letter — New Signatures (Accessed 17 February 2017; the nine bishops were Gordon Bates, Ian Brackley, John Davies, Peter Maurice, David Rossdale, John Saxbee, Martin Shaw, Oliver Simon, and David Stancliffe.
  10. ^ The Grauniad — Church of England in turmoil as synod rejects report on same-sex relationships (Accessed 17 February 2017)
  11. ^ Green, Laurie. Let's Do Theology (Second ed.). Mowbray. pp. back cover. ISBN 9780826425515. 
  12. ^ Green, Laurie (2009). Let's Do Theology (second ed.). Mowbray. pp. Back cover. ISBN 9780826425515. 
  13. ^ Debrett's People of Today London, 2008 Debrett's, ISBN 978-1-870520-95-9
Church of England titles
Preceded by
Derek Bond
Bishop of Bradwell
Succeeded by
John Wraw