Rod Thomas (bishop)

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The Right Reverend
Rod Thomas
Bishop of Maidstone (AEO)
Church Church of England
Diocese Diocese of Canterbury
In office 2015–present
Other posts Vicar of Elburton, Diocese of Exeter (1999–2015)
Orders
Ordination 1993 (deacon)
1994 (priest)
Consecration 23 September 2015
by Justin Welby
Personal details
Birth name Roderick Charles Howell Thomas
Born (1954-08-07) 7 August 1954 (age 63)
Nationality British
Denomination Anglicanism
Spouse Lesley
Children Three
Alma mater London School of Economics
Wycliffe Hall, Oxford

Roderick Charles Howell "Rod" Thomas (born 7 August 1954) is a Church of England bishop. Since September 2015, he has been the Bishop of Maidstone, a provincial episcopal visitor for conservative evangelical members and parishes of the church.

Early life

Thomas was born in 7 August 1954 in London, England.[1][2][3] He was educated in Ealing, West London.[3] He studied economics at the London School of Economics,[4] and graduated in 1975 with a Bachelor of Science (BSc) degree.[2]

Having completed his degree, Thomas joined Her Majesty's Civil Service. He left the Civil Service to become a researcher for the Institute of Directors.[3] He ended his business career as Director of Employment and Environmental Affairs at the Confederation of British Industry, before leaving in 1991 to train for ordained ministry.[5]

His early years were spent as a member of the Exclusive Plymouth Brethren.[6] At the age of 12, under the influence of Billy Graham, John Stott, Maurice Wood and having attended Emmanuel Church, Wimbledon, he became an Anglican.[3] In 1991, he entered Wycliffe Hall, Oxford, a Church of England theological college, to train for ordained ministry.[2]

Ordained ministry

Having completed his training, Thomas was ordained in the Church of England as a deacon in 1993 and as a priest in 1994.[2] He served his curacy at St Andrew's Church, Plymouth. He remained at St Andrew's Church as a curate from 1995 to 1999.[4] From 1999 to 2005, he was priest-in-charge of St Matthew's Church, Elburton.[2] From 2005 to 2015, he was vicar of Elburton.[4] In 2012, he was additionally appointed a Prebendary of Exeter Cathedral.[7]

Outside his parish ministry, Thomas holds a number of appointments. He has been a member of the General Synod of the Church of England since 2000.[7] He has been a member of the Reform organisation for nearly two decades and chairman since 2007. Reform is a conservative evangelical Anglican organisation that opposes the ordination of women to the priesthood and promotes conservative attitudes to homosexuality.[8] He has served as chairman of the organisation since 2007.[7] He is a member of the executive committee of the Anglican Mission in England (AMiE), a missionary society set up by the Fellowship of Confessing Anglicans.[9]

Episcopal ministry

On 5 May 2015, Thomas was announced as the next Bishop of Maidstone, a provincial episcopal visitor for conservative evangelical members and parishes of the church.[4][10] On 23 September 2015, he was consecrated a bishop at Canterbury Cathedral by Justin Welby, the Archbishop of Canterbury.[11][12]

By 19 December 2016, 71 parishes had passed resolutions for conservative evangelical reasons, of which 31 had requested Alternative Episcopal Oversight (AEO) from the Bishop of Maidstone.[13] He is additionally an honorary assistant bishop in the Dioceses of Chelmsford, Chester, Ely, Sheffield, Southwark, Bristol, and Birmingham.[14] As of September 2017, 107 parishes had passed resolutions for conservative evangelical reasons, of which almost 50 have requested AEO.[15]

Views

Thomas has been described as a complementarian evangelical and as a conservative evangelical.[16][17] He has expressed his support for the Nashville Statement, describing it as a "wonderfully clear statement about God's design for His creation insofar as it relates to marriage, sexual relationships and gender identity".[15]

In 2006, it was announced that Jeffrey John (Dean of St Albans) had entered into a civil partnership with his male partner. Thomas replied to this news: "It is something that will only serve to deepen the crisis that the Church of England faces over the whole issue of human sexuality."[18] He stated in December 2016: "I continue to believe that God's Word is clear that sexual intimacy should be experienced only within heterosexual marriage and not otherwise".[19]

Personal life

In 1981, Thomas married Lesley Easton.[20] They have three children: two sons and one daughter.[4]

See also

References

  1. ^ Thomas, Roderick Charles Howell. ukwhoswho.com. Who's Who. 2016 (November 2015 online ed.). A & C Black, an imprint of Bloomsbury Publishing plc. Retrieved 24 July 2016.  closed access publication – behind paywall
  2. ^ a b c d e "R C H Thomas". Crockford's Clerical Directory (online ed.). Church House Publishing. Retrieved 5 May 2015.  (subscription required)
  3. ^ a b c d "Order of Service: Ordination and Consecration of the new Bishops of Maidstone, Kensington and Edmonton" (pdf). Canterbury Cathedral. 23 September 2015. Retrieved 23 September 2015. 
  4. ^ a b c d e "Suffragan Bishop of Maidstone: Roderick Charles Howell Thomas". Press release. Prime Minister's Office. 5 May 2015. Retrieved 5 May 2015. 
  5. ^ "Suffragan Bishop of Maidstone announced". Articles. Archbishop of Canterbury. 5 May 2015. Retrieved 5 May 2015. 
  6. ^ Handley MacMath, Terence (24 December 2008). "Interview: Rod Thomas chairman of Reform". Church Times. Retrieved 2 November 2015. 
  7. ^ a b c "Rod Thomas announced Bishop of Maidstone". Latest Diocesan News. Diocese of Exeter. 5 May 2015. Retrieved 5 May 2015. 
  8. ^ "Reform Chairman made Bishop of Maidstone". Media statement. Reform. 5 May 2015. Retrieved 5 May 2015. 
  9. ^ "Executive Committee". About. Anglican Mission in England. Retrieved 5 May 2015. 
  10. ^ "Suffragan See of Maidstone". News releases. Church of England. 4 December 2014. Retrieved 5 May 2015. 
  11. ^ "Two new bishops and new archdeacon for London announced". Diocese of London. 9 July 2015. Retrieved 10 July 2015. 
  12. ^ "Ordination and Consecration of the new Bishops of Maidstone, Kensington and Edmonton". Canterbury Cathedral. 23 September 2015. Retrieved 23 September 2015. 
  13. ^ "Christmas 2016 Newsletter" (pdf). bishopofmaidstone.org. December 2016. Retrieved 31 December 2016. 
  14. ^ "Appointments". Church Times. 4 August 2017. Retrieved 9 August 2017. 
  15. ^ a b "September 2017 Newsletter" (pdf). bishopofmaidstone.org. September 2017. Retrieved 27 September 2017. 
  16. ^ Gatiss, Lee (5 May 2015). "Topical Tuesday: Bishop Rod Thomas". Church Society. Retrieved 10 July 2015. 
  17. ^ Gledhill, Ruth (5 May 2015). "'Male headship' campaigner appointed as CofE bishop". Christian Today. Retrieved 31 December 2016. 
  18. ^ "Gay cleric's 'wedding' to partner". BBC News. 1 August 2006. Retrieved 2 November 2015. 
  19. ^ "Christmas 2016 Newsletter" (pdf). bishopofmaidstone.org. December 2016. Retrieved 31 December 2016. 
  20. ^ "MAIDSTONE, Bishop Suffragan of,". Who's Who 2017. Oxford University Press. November 2016. Retrieved 10 January 2017. 

External links

  • Official website
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