Aran and Rachel Richardson
Aran and Rachel are the Senior Ministers of Riverside Church. Married for over 19 years they are passionate about loving God and loving people and having a whole lot of fun in between the two. They have 3 incredible children, Joshua, Bethan and Nathan.
They have a real heart to lead a vibrant contemporary fun filled church that impacts its local communities as well as developing a new generation of leaders.
Aran and Rachel met whilst working on an AOG Home Missions Team, where they were involved in church planting, evangelism and various youth work projects. They were married in 1994 and settled in Saffron Walden Essex assisting the local AOG church as youth pastors eventually becoming assistant ministers. Aran also served as a local Police Officer within Hertfordshire Constabulary. Rachel has a vocational background within HR, training and wages/payroll
In January 2003 they felt a clear call of God to relocate to Exeter and were invited to serve on the ministry team with the senior minister John Partington at Riverside Church. In 2006 Aran and Rachel were appointed as senior leaders of the church.
Aran is high energy, fun and brings an evangelistic edge to the church, he regularly leads global mission teams all over the world. He has recently completed his MA in Missional Leadership. He loves cricket, golf and rugby and is a huge Exeter Chiefs fan, he’s also a Nottingham Forest fan but doesn’t seem to mention this much.
Rachel brings a softer edge, she is insightful and speaks into the life of the church with gentle wisdom, she heads up the Pastoral Care department of the church and oversees life groups and the many discipleship courses that run within the church.
She has a passion for snow, beaches, football (a life-long Tottenham Hotspur fan) and light bubbly chocolate, believing that regular consumption of which can keep you slim.
Core Leadership Team
Gareth and Hannah Jenkins (Assistant Pastors)
Gareth and Hannah serve as Assistant Pastors; overseeing and serving within many areas of Riverside. They met at Riverside whilst serving on the Young Adults’ team and married in the summer of 2011. They have a daughter, Naomi, who arrived in January 2015. They both have an incredible desire to build a community of worshippers who are passionate for God and fulfilling their destiny in Him. Gareth is also Riverside’s Worship Pastor, responsible for carrying the vision for the worship team. He has had the privilege of leading worship at various events and festivals throughout the city, the UK and Europe.
Gareth and Hannah are both teachers and have combined experience of teaching across four Key Stages. Hannah works full time as a Primary School teacher and Early Years Leader. Gareth divides his time between Secondary teaching and his Chaplaincy role at the University of Exeter.
Hannah moved to Exeter as student in 2001 and has been part of Riverside Church ever since. During her time at university she led the Christian Union at Exmouth campus and served in many areas of Riverside, including the children and youth teams. Hannah loves period drama, swimming, exploring new places and beating Gareth at chess!
Gareth relocated to Exeter in 2004 to complete his PGCE and was ordained as an AoG minister in 2015. His professional background includes project management, administration and cake tasting! He is an ardent rugby fan and still follows his home team, Pontypool RFC. He also supports Tottenham Hotspur. When he’s not at school or on campus, Gareth can be found in the gym, on the golf course or in one of Exeter’s finest fast-food establishments!
John and Angela Rogers
Angela and John have been married since 1977 and have three grown up children. They have been involved in church life in Exeter for years too numerous to mention. They have a passion for the St Thomas community and the City of Exeter in which they live and work, and desire to see lives changed through relationship with Jesus. They have a heart for Riverside and its people and believe in a strong generational church that makes a difference in communities locally, nationally and internationally.
Angela has a foundation degree in special needs education and works in a local school ensuring appropriate provision is in place for the children. She also runs a Christian lunch club at the school, and until recently served as a school governor. She is a Street Pastor and has been since they were introduced in Exeter. Her desire is to give up work and be out street pastoring every week!
John works for an international telecommunications company where he spends most of his time dealing with bureaucratic red tape! He is proud to serve as a high school governor at one of the most successful schools in the south west, where he has been for over 15 years, having previously spent 5 years as a governor of the local primary school.
Both are members of the Riverside worship team and are privileged to act as LifeGroup coordinators where they get a chance to visit many church partners in their groups. John also serves as chairman of the Riverside Christian Centre Board (the charitable organisation that supports the mission and vision of the Church).