Meet the Rector

Picture of Revd. Richard ThornileyThe Reverend Canon Richard Thorniley

Who am I?

I am married to Gill and father to Sarah and James. Gill and I celebrated our 30th wedding anniversary in 2010 (we married young) and are now putting thought to a Ruby wedding anniversary - where has the time gone? Our children both live in London, employed in fulfilling, and at times overly challenging, jobs. They are a wonderful answer to prayer and they and their partners provide great company.

What more do you want to know?

Gill and I joined the Benefice (a collective word for a group of parishes looked after by one clergyman) in June 2001. Before becoming a clergyman I was involved in business-to-business magazine publishing for nearly 20 years and we lived in inner-city London, in Nunhead, a lovely village which neighbours Peckham – of which you might have heard.

We enjoyed our time there and attended two local churches: St Mark’s Kennington and St Mary Magdalene, Nunhead; both lively inner-city multi-cultural churches.

My own spiritual journey began as a student with me asking the big question, “Why am I here, what is life all about?” A great question, to which I find a satisfying answer in Christianity and my calling as a Priest in the ARCH Benefice - the latter is the greatest job in the world.

The villages and churches.are wonderful places to be part of so, if you can, come and join us.

Picture of my wife, Gill ThornileyAnd in my spare time, I keep fit

I had a health scare just as I arrived here in 2001, so I work quite hard at keeping fit which means I cycle or run most days. I also find it a good way to keep in touch with nature just by being outdoors, plus it has the bonus of giving me space to think and pray.

What is my vision for the benefice?

Simply put – sharing the love of God within the community and through the church, keeping an eye open for where we might see God at work and following suit. We are churches that try to live the Christian life - which means trusting God to lead us; not being afraid to take risks with people or life situations; enjoying the challenges and learning from failure.

As a result we provide a variety of forms of engagement with God through a range of worship services on Sundays, learning through home groups, CAMEO teas in the church, the toddler music group, churchyard working parties, children's holiday clubs and much more which you can read about in the rest of the website.