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Who We Are

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The Centre for Church Planting and Growth supports the work of the Bishop of Islington, one of the suffragan bishops of the London Diocese. Bishop Ric was consecrated in September 2015 to support the London Diocesan goal of creating new worshipping communities and is available to the National Church to support church planting.
His team, based at St Edmund the King in London, help to run church planting training courses and church growth learning communities, to equip church planters through individual consultations, and to develop resources for the wider Church.

Team

Ric Thorpe

Ric Thorpe

As Bishop of Islington, Ric is responsible for the London Diocese’s goal of creating 100 New Worshipping Communities by 2020 and is also working nationally to support other dioceses to plant new churches. Before being appointed to Islington, Bishop Ric was the Bishop of London’s Adviser for Church Planting and the Rector of St Paul’s Shadwell. He is married to Louie and they have three children.

H Miller

H Miller

H Miller is the Head of Development for Church Planting and Growth, working closely with teams in the development stage, overseeing the coaching programme and grant funding. He also serves as Associate Vicar at St. Barnabas Kensington. Prior to joining us he worked extensively with church planting in North America. He is married to Shelly and they have two children.

Andrea Bleakley

Andrea Bleakley

PA to the Bishop of Islington, Andrea looks after the diary, meetings, finance and administration for Ric and the Church Planting and Growth team.

Darren Wolf

Darren Wolf

Darren oversees the work on church growth learning communities for the team. He is also the Associate Minister at Christ Church Spitalfields. He lives in East London and he's married to Rachel.

Inger Lannero

Inger Lannero

As Operations Manager, Inger is responsible for planning and coordinating the work of the Centre for Church Planting and Growth. She has been part of three church plants in London (Acton, Shadwell and Hampton Wick) and has a heart for intercession. She is married to Henrik and they have teenage twins.

Mark Bishop

Mark Bishop

Mark is an Ordained Pioneer Minister. He planted a missional community in Acton Vale, a council estate in West London. He works closely with the Lee Abbey Movement and Tierra Neuva Europe. As an Islington Associate, Mark helps support the burgeoning network of missional communities springing up across London and beyond, as well as looking after our School of Pioneers with Phil Hoyle.

Sharon Whitmarsh

Sharon Whitmarsh

Sharon is the 100 New Worshipping Communities Support and Relationship Coordinator. Supporting H Miller, she’s a point of contact for support, development and communication for church planters. She lives with her family in Northwood.

Philippa Guy

Philippa Guy

Philippa works as the Communications Coordinator for the team. She joined St Saviour’s Church, Wendell Park in West London to help with planting a new family and youth service for the local area. Philippa also works as a private tutor and freelance writer.

Catherine Ellerby

Catherine Ellerby

As Church Growth Programme Coordinator, Catherine works with Darren to support the work with church growth learning communities. This includes encouraging churches to join a community, and overseeing the administration and running of these communities. She lives with her family in North London.

Phil Hoyle

Phil Hoyle

Rev. Phil Hoyle is a pioneer priest and member of the 'Room' Community in Shepherds Bush. As an Islington Associate, Phil helps support the burgeoning network of missional communities springing up across London and beyond, as well as heading up the School of Pioneers with Mark Bishop.

Islington Associates

John Valentine

John Valentine

John Valentine is married to Catherine, and they have two children. John is the Rector of St George's Holborn, a church plant from Holy Trinity Brompton. St George's have planted two further churches (in partnership with others) in the last 10 years. John has written the book, 'Follow Me', on Christian discipleship.

Helen Shannon

Helen Shannon

In 2010 Helen & her team planted an estates church where she lives in North London called church@five, which she still leads today. She also is one of the founding trustees and Projects Director for Hope North London; and she is an Associate Minister at St Barnabas North London. Her vision is for there to be a worshipping community on every estate in London. Helen is married to Mark and they have six kids.

Andy Blacknell

Andy Blacknell

Andy has helped lead the Church Planting Course with the Bishop of Islington since it began in 2013. He develops and delivers the sessions on strategic planning, leading change and recruiting and building your team. He also works with the Church Commissioners and various other dioceses on their strategic plans as well consulting around strategy and change in the private sector. He is the author of the book 'Leaders' Journal.'

Winfield Bevins

Winfield Bevins

Winfield Bevins is passionate about equipping others for missional engagement in a post-Christian context. He is Director of Church Planting at Asbury Seminary and also serves as Director of Re-missioning for Fresh Expressions US. As a seasoned practitioner, he has used his experience to train leaders from around the world. He is the author of several books including 'Church Planting Revolution'. He and his wife Kay have three beautiful girls Elizabeth, Anna Belle, and Caroline.

C'havala Crawley

C'havala Crawley

C’havala works to catalyze prayer for the Bishop of Islington and his team. With her husband, Colin, C’havala leads a missionary organisation called CRM UK which focuses on prayer and evangelism in the UK and beyond. C’havala and Colin have four daughters and live in central London.

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