Ric Thorpe

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Ric Thorpe
Bishop of Islington
(national bishop for church plants)
ChurchChurch of England
DioceseDiocese of London
In office2015–present
Other postsRector of St Paul's Church, Shadwell (2005–2015)
Bishop of London's Adviser for Church Planting (2012–2015)
Ordination1996 (deacon)
1997 (priest)
Consecration29 September 2015
by Justin Welby, Archbishop of Canterbury
Personal details
Birth nameRichard Charles Thorpe
Born (1965-02-03) 3 February 1965 (age 54)
SpouseLouie Thorpe
Alma materUniversity of Birmingham
Wycliffe Hall, Oxford

Richard Charles "Ric" Thorpe (born 3 February 1965) is a British Church of England bishop and an expert in church planting. Since September 2015, he has been the Bishop of Islington, a suffragan bishopric in the Diocese of London, and the "bishop for church plants". From 2005 to 2015, he led St Paul's Church, Shadwell, first as priest-in-charge and from 2010 as rector. From 2012 to 2015, he was the Bishop of London's Adviser for Church Planting.

Early life[edit]

Thorpe was born on 3 February 1965.[1][2] He was educated at Stowe School, an independent school in Stowe, Buckinghamshire.[3] He studied chemical engineering at the University of Birmingham and graduated with a Bachelor of Science (BSc) degree in 1987.[2][4] His first career was as a marketing manager with Unilever.[4]

From 1990 to 1992, Thorpe was a lay worship leader at Holy Trinity Brompton (HTB) in the Diocese of London.[3] In 1993, he entered Wycliffe Hall, an Evangelical Anglican theological college, to study theology and train for ordained ministry.[5]

Ordained ministry[edit]

Thorpe was ordained in the Church of England as a deacon in 1996 and as a priest in 1997.[2] He began his ministry as a curate at Holy Trinity Brompton in the Diocese of London.[6] After almost 10 years of ordained ministry, he was chosen to lead a church plant from HTB to St Paul's Church, Shadwell. This involved moving 100 parishioners and a number of clergy from HTB to St Paul's to revitalise the flagging church.[7] He was appointed priest in charge of St Paul's with St James, Ratcliffe, in 2005 and made rector in 2010. From 2010 to 2014, he was also priest in charge of All Hallows, Bow.[2]

In addition to St Paul's, Thorpe has been involved with a further four church plants.[7] Since 2012, he has been the Bishop of London's Adviser for Church Planting.[6] He is a tutor in church planting at St Mellitus College, an Anglican theological college, and leader of its church planting course.[4][8]

Episcopal ministry[edit]

In May 2015, it was announced that the See of Islington would be brought out of abeyance to create a "bishop for church plants". The bishop is to be based in the Diocese of London but would be free from territorial responsibilities and would work with the whole Church of England.[9][7] On 9 July 2015, it was announced that Thorpe would be the next suffragan bishop of Islington.[6] On 29 September 2015, he was consecrated a bishop by Justin Welby, Archbishop of Canterbury, at St Paul's Cathedral.[10][11]

Personal life[edit]

Thorpe is married to Louise Rachel "Louie" Arden-White.[1][5] Together they have three children: Zoe, Barny and Toby.[6]


  1. ^ a b Thorpe, Richard Charles. ukwhoswho.com. Who's Who. 2017 (November 2016 online ed.). A & C Black, an imprint of Bloomsbury Publishing plc. Retrieved 21 December 2016. closed access
  2. ^ a b c d "Richard Charles Thorpe". Crockford's Clerical Directory (online ed.). Church House Publishing. Retrieved 5 December 2015.
  3. ^ a b "Ric Thorpe". LinkedIn. Retrieved 8 September 2015.
  4. ^ a b c "Associate Tutors". St Mellitus College. Retrieved 8 September 2015.
  5. ^ a b "New Bishop of Islington Appointed". Wycliffe Hall, Oxford. 9 July 2015. Retrieved 6 September 2015.
  6. ^ a b c d "Suffragan Bishop of Islington: Reverend Ric Thorpe". Prime Minister's Office, 10 Downing Street. GOV.UK. 9 July 2015. Retrieved 6 September 2015.
  7. ^ a b c Gledhill, Ruth (9 July 2015). "New church plant bishop will be Rev Ric Thorpe". Christian Today. Retrieved 6 September 2015.
  8. ^ "Church Planting Course". St Mellitus College. Retrieved 8 September 2015.
  9. ^ "The revival of the See of Islington". Diocese of London. 1 May 2015. Retrieved 8 September 2015.
  10. ^ "Two new bishops and new archdeacon for London announced". Diocese of London. 9 July 2015. Retrieved 6 September 2015.
  11. ^ "New women bishops ordained at St Paul's Cathedral". St Paul's Cathedral. 29 September 2015. Retrieved 30 September 2015.
Church of England titles
In abeyance
Title last held by
Charles Turner
Bishop of Islington