His early career was spent in parish ministry in the Church of England dioceses of Southwark and Oxford. He then moved to the United States where he worked at two seminaries, the Union Theological Seminary in New York City, and the Berkeley Divinity School in New Haven, Connecticut.
Rowthorn was elected a bishop in the Episcopal Church, serving as a suffragan bishop of the Episcopal Diocese of Connecticut from 1987 to 1994, and then, from 1994 to 2001, as Bishop in Charge of the Convocation of Episcopal Churches in Europe, installed at the American Cathedral in Paris. From 1995 to 2001, he was additionally an assistant bishop of the Church of England’s Diocese in Europe.
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