Resource Churches: A story of church planting and revitalisation across the nation

Bishop Ric Thorpe

June 2021

This book looks at the biblical, theological and historical roots of resource churches. It covers all the practicalities of how to launch and grow an effective resource church, and draws on Ric’s extensive experience, practical wisdom and advice for church teams and diocesan leaders.

It is full of stories from those who have planted and lead resource churches, together with reflections from each of their bishops. Although the book is written from an Anglican perspective, its principles may be applied to similar churches in other denominations and sections of the church.

This faith-building and inspiring book, recommended by bishops, archdeacons, and leaders from across the Church, sees the Holy Spirit moving in the launch of these resource churches in our own time.

Ric Thorpe represents a rare combination, being at once a thinker and strategist, and a practitioner. In his role as the Bishop of Islington, Ric is closely and centrally involved in the Church of England’s aim to see all kinds of new churches planted. There is food for thought and inspiration here, and impetus for action.

MOST REVD AND RT HON JUSTIN WELBY, Archbishop of Canterbury

This book is an important contribution to our understanding of resource churches and the Church today. Not only does it describe resource churches in detail and depth, but it provides us with reflection and challenge. These stories of what God is doing give me hope and faith for the future of the gospel in our land.

RT REVD AND RT HON DAME SARAH MULLALY, Bishop of London

Bishop Ric Thorpe provides the definitive handbook on England’s 100 Resource Churches. Ric supports his compelling theological and missiological reasons for such churches with authentic stories from different locations and traditions. It is a ‘go to’ book for parishes, Diocesan Teams and Bishops.

MOST REVD AND RT HON STEPHEN COTTRELL, Archbishop of York

Resource churches have become an important part of the strategy for renewal of many dioceses across the country. This book is an invaluable guide to the history, nature, and potential of these churches to bring renewed life to cities, parishes and the different traditions of the Church of England in the coming years.

RT REVD DR GRAHAM TOMLIN, Bishop of Kensington

Bishop Ric Thorpe writes on church planting with authority and experience. As the first ever national bishop for church planting in the Church of England he has seen new church communities grow and flourish all over the country through a combination of dynamic leadership and the Spirit of God. I hope this inspiring book will encourage the launch of many more such initiatives.

REVD NICKY GUMBEL, Vicar of Holy Trinity Brompton, London

Such a helpful book! Resource Churches have attracted a lot of attention but little balanced reflection. What often goes unnoticed are the great variety of models and approaches, the historical precedents, and the combination of visionary leadership and sacrificial generosity that is involved in extending the Church’s mission in these ways.

REVD PAUL HARCOURT, National Leader, New Wine England

Clear, humble, generous, honest. A must-read for anyone involved in resource church planting.

RT REVD DR JILL DUFF, Bishop of Lancaster

Resource churches and church planting are vital for the renewal of the whole Anglican tradition, reaching new populations and young people, who find in them opportunities for discipleship and social engagement. Be encouraged by these stories of real people in real places who are keeping the rumour of God alive.

RT REVD DR JOANNE GRENFELL, Bishop of Stepney

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