Lecturer in Anglicanism and Liturgy
BA, MA, PhD
Bridget Nichols grew up in South Africa and studied English Literature and Classics in Cape Town. She taught in the English Department of the University of the Witwatersrand before pursuing doctoral research at the University of Durham.
Here, her interest in liturgy took shape through study of Reformation and modern liturgies of the Church of England, focused on their interpretation in performance. Her doctoral dissertation was published as Liturgical Hermeneutics: Interpreting Liturgical Rites in Performance (Peter Lang, 1996) and her interest in language and liturgy has continued to lead in a number of directions.
Bridget was Lay Chaplain and Research Assistant to three Bishops of Ely from 1998–2017. From 2012 to 2017 she was a member of the Academic Board of the Archbishop’s Examination in Theology, which oversees research degrees awarded by the Archbishop of Canterbury. She is a Consultant to the C of E Liturgical Commission.
She joined the staff of the Church of Ireland Theological Institute in July 2017.
She is particularly interested in the nature of liturgical language, including such questions as: what it means to describe liturgical language as ritual language; the relationship of worshipping communities with authority, embodied in the perceived conflict between authorised and locally or spontaneously generated language in worship; gendered language; the participation of the body in liturgy as a form of language. An ongoing interest in the Bible and liturgy led to the publication of Lively Oracles of God: Perspective on the Bible and Liturgy (Liturgical Press, 2022), co–edited with Gordon Jeanes.
Bridget is now returning to a long–term project on early Psalter collects, with a view to preparing a translation and commentary.
Memberships and Affiliations:
Societas Liturgica, (President 2019–2021)
Society for Liturgical Study
Reviews editor of Anaphora (the journal of the Society for Liturgical Study)
Liturgy Association of Ireland (currently Chair)
The Church of Ireland Historical Society (currently Treasurer)
Trustee of The Alcuin Club (a society that exists to promote liturgical study and publication).
National Church Involvement
Ex officio member of the Church of Ireland Liturgical Advisory Committee 2017 –
Consultant to the Church of England Liturgical Commission 2017 –
Member of the Churches Together in Britain & Ireland (CTBI) Working Group on the Week of Prayer for Christian Unity 2018 –
Member of the Irish Churches Council 2023 –
Member of the Church of Ireland Council for Christian Unity and Dialogue 2023 –
Member of the Church of England Liturgical Commission 2011–2017
Member of the Academic Board of the Archbishop of Canterbury’s Examination in Theology (AET) 2012 – 2017 & member of the Board’s Research Training Committee 2013–2017
Anglican liturgy; liturgical language; liturgy and ritual; worship and authority; collects, especially psalter collects; liturgy and the Bible