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Lecturer in Anglicanism and Liturgy

Bridget Nichols



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. She is a Visiting Scholar at Sarum College, where she contributes to the MA in Christian Liturgy. 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 currently particularly interested in two areas of inquiry: what it means to describe liturgical language as ritual language; and in the relationship of worshipping communities with authority, embodied in the perceived conflict between authorised and locally or spontaneously generated language in worship.

She hopes to return to the fifth– and sixth–century Psalter collects, edited by Dom Louis Brou for the Henry Bradshaw Society, to explore baptismal imagery as evidence of actual liturgical practice. 

Memberships and Affiliations:

Societas Liturgica, Society for Liturgical Study, The Society for Reformation Studies. 

I am a trustee of The Alcuin Club (a society that exists to promote liturgical study and publication).

I am a review editor of Anaphora (the journal of the Society for Liturgical Study) and a Consultant to the C of E Liturgical Commission

Research Interests: 

Anglican liturgy; liturgical language; liturgy and ritual; worship and authority; psalter collects 

Dissertations Supervised:

Currently supervising a doctoral student on the Archbishop’s Examination in Theology programme (she is writing about the reception of the language and imagery of baptism services by those who have little contact with the Church);

A dissertation on Table Fellowship (CITI)

A dissertation on spiritual direction and mindfulness (CITI) – though the proposal is undergoing much reshaping 




(compiler, with Simon Jones & Anne Dawtry, on behalf of the Liturgical Commission) Common Worship Pastoral Ministry Companion(London: Church House Publishing, 2012)

(ed.) The Collect in the Churches of the Reformation (London: SCM, 2010)

Literature in Christian Perspective: becoming faithful readers (London: Darton, Longman & Todd, 2000)

Liturgical Hermeneutics: Interpreting Liturgical Rites in Performance (Frankfurt,  

Bern, New York, Paris, Vienna: Peter Lang, 1996) [published doctoral dissertation]


Book Chapters

‘Afterword’ in James Steven (ed.) Wrestling with a Godly Order: Encounters with the 1662 Book of Common Prayer (Salisbury: Sarum College Press, 2015) 109–115

‘Prayer’ in Juliette Day and Ben Gordon–Taylor (eds) The Study of Liturgy and Worship  (London: SPCK, 2013) 43–52

‘A Tune Beyond Us Yet Ourselves: Ordinary Worship and Ordinary Theology’ in Jeff Astley & Leslie J. Francis (eds) Exploring Ordinary Theology: Everyday Christian Believing and the Church (Farnham, Surrey & Burlington VT: Ashgate, 2013) 159–167

(With Ann Loades) ‘The Liturgical Body and the Gift of Presence’, in Robert MacSwain and Taylor Worley (eds) Theology, Aesthetics, and Culture: Responses to the Work of David Brown (Oxford: Oxford University Press, 2012) 252–264

‘The Collect in English: Vernacular Beginnings’ in Bridget Nichols (ed.) The Collect in the Churches of the Reformation (London: SCM, 2010) 11–34

‘An Anglican Experiment in Appreciating the Liturgy: The Easter Day Collect (First Holy Communion) in The First Prayer Book of Edward VI’ in James G. Leachman OSB & Daniel P. McCarthy OSB (eds) Appreciating the Collect: An Irenic Methodology(Farnborough, Hampshire: St Michael’s Abbey Press, 2008) 141–160

‘Exchanges of Nature: Worship, Liturgy and Formation’ in Stephen Burns & Natalie     Watson (eds) Exchanges of Grace: Essays in Honour of Ann Loades (London: SCM Press, 2008) 250–260

‘Liturgy as Literature’ in Andrew Hass, David Jasper and Elizabeth Jay (eds) The Oxford Handbook of English Literature and Theology(Oxford: Oxford University Press, 2007) 669–687

(With Carolyn Headley) ‘Wholeness and Healing’ & ‘Reconciliation and Restoration’ in Paul Bradshaw (ed.) A Companion to Common Worship vol. 2 (London: SPCK, 2006) 142–179

‘Intolerable Burdens: The Anxiety of Influence & the Prayer Book Tradition’ in David M. Loades (ed.) Word and Worship: Essays Presented to Margot Johnson (Oxford: Davenant Press, 2005) 85–95

‘Humanity Fully Represented Before God: A Liturgical Approach’ in Harriet Harris and Jane Shaw (eds) The Call for Women Bishops(London: SPCK, 2004) 139–152

‘Collects and Post Communion Prayers’ in Paul Bradshaw (ed.) A Companion to Common Worship vol. 1 (London: SPCK, 2000) 179–224

‘Freedom in Order: the language of the Church of Scotland Book of Common  Order 1994‘in Bryan Spinks and Iain Torrance (eds) To Glorify God: Essays on Modern Reformed Liturgy (Edinburgh: T & T Clark, 1999) 241–255

‘F.E. Brightman’ in Christopher Irvine (ed.) They Shaped Our Worship: Essays on      Anglican Liturgists (London: Alcuin Club/SPCK, 1998) 35–41


‘From Common Prayer to Common Ancestor: The Quest for Anglican Identity and the Legacy of the Reformation’ New Blackfriars 99 (2018) 232–247. DOI: 10.1111/nbfr.12346

‘Unto the Throne of the Heavenly Grace: The Journey of Penitence in The Book of Common Prayer’ Faith & Worship 81 (2017) 6–17

‘Whom do you Seek? Role, Ritual and Representation in Liturgical Action’ Anaphora 10.2 (2016) 27–58

‘Intercommunion: A Church of England Perspective’ One in Christ 50.1 (2016) 7–21

‘Worship: Receiving, Developing and Living Tradition’ Challenging Religious Issues 10 (Spring 2016) 8–13

‘Charles Wesley’s Place Among the Mystics’ Methodist Sacramental Fellowship Bulletin 141 (Epiphany 2014) 2–13

‘Anglicans and the Idea of Liturgical Reform’ Anaphora 7.2 (2013) 31–51

‘Transfiguring Scripture, Transfiguring Liturgy’ Anaphora 6.2 (2012) 19–34

‘Collectes Psalmiques et Liturgie Baptismale des Premiers Siècles’ (tr. Michel Corsi) La Maison–Dieu 271.3 (2012) 65–87 

(With Jeff Astley) ‘The Formative Role of the Book of Common Prayer’ (Part I) Prayer Book Society Journal (Trinity 2011) 8–10; (Part II) Prayer Book Society Journal (Michaelmas 2011) 8–11

‘Instruction, Improvisation and Imagination: A Foray into the Psalter Collects of the     African, Roman and Spanish Traditions’Anaphora 4.2 (2010) 29–52

‘Scripture, Time and Narrative in the Proper Prefaces of “Common Worship”’ Studia     Liturgica 39.1 (2009) 122–128

‘“Set The Daye of Deathe Before Your Yyes” – Formation for Dying in the English    Reformation Church’ Anaphora 3.1 (2009) 35–56

‘Research and Liturgical Revision: the Case of F.E. Brightman’ Anaphora 1.1 (2007) 43–54

‘Liturgy and Imagination’ Anvil 21.4 (2004) 258–268

‘Too Great for Words to Bear: Confession in the Liturgy’ In Illo Tempore (The Bulletin and Liturgical Review of Ushaw Library) 19 (September 2002) 4–13

‘The Picture of Health’ Studies in Christian Ethics 15.1 (2002) 40–53

‘In Form of Prayer is Change: Where Should We Look for Liturgical Stability’ Ushaw Library Bulletin and Liturgical Review 14 (December 2000) 3–13

‘Women and Liturgical Reform: The Case of St Margaret of Scotland’ Ushaw Library      Bulletin and Liturgical Review 11 (March 2000) 3–13. Reprinted in Priscilla Papers (Winter 2008) 23–27

‘Intolerable Burdens: The Anxiety of Influence and the Prayer Book Tradition’ Ushaw Library Bulletin and Liturgical Review 9 (August 1999) 3–14.  Reprinted in David M. Loades (ed.) Word and Worship (Oxford: Davenant Press, 2005) 85–95

‘Blasts of Vain Doctrine: Cranmer’s New Collect for St Mark’s Day’ Ushaw Library       Bulletin and Liturgical Review 6 (May 1998) 4–13

‘The Bible in Liturgy’ Studia Liturgica 27 (1997) 200–216

‘Liturgy and Language: Some Issues in Aesthetics and Ethics’ Ushaw Library Bulletin and Liturgical Review 4 (June 1997) 4–13

Short Articles

Weekly column on the Sunday lectionary for The Church Times, Advent 2014 – Christ the King 2017.


Short Studies

The Mystical Verse of Charles Wesley (Exeter: Methodist Sacramental Fellowship, 2015)

Psalter Collects (Ely: Jericho Press, 2011)

Alistair MacGregor & Bridget Nichols Deliver Us From Evil (Durham: Ushaw College Library, 2003)

Alistair MacGregor & Bridget Nichols New and Contrite Hearts (Durham: Ushaw College Library, 2002)

Alistair MacGregor & Bridget Nichols The Eucharistic Epiclesis (Durham: Ushaw College Library, 2001)  [‘Introduction’pp. v– xii]


Book Reviews

Declan Marmion, Salvador Ryan & Gesa E. Thiessen (eds) Remembering the Reformation: Martin Luther and Catholic Theology(Minneapolis: Fortress Press, 2017) Irish Theological Quarterly 83.3 (2018) 276–277

Stephen Platten Animating Liturgy: The Dynamics of Worship and the Human Community (Durham: Sacristy Press, 2017) Modern Believing 59.3 (2018) 265–267

David Jasper The Language of Liturgy: A Ritual Poetics (London: SCM, 2018) The Church Times 11 May 2018, 26

Brian P. Flanagan & Johann M. Vento (eds) Liturgy and Power (The Annual Publication of the College Theology Society vol. 62, 2016) (Maryknoll, NY: Orbis Books, Modern Believing 59.2 (2018) 163–165

Alcuin Reid Liturgy in the Twenty–First Century: Contemporary Issues and Perspectives (London: Bloomsbury T&T Clark, 2016)Modern Believing 59.1 (2018) 90–92

Michael Perham The Way of Christ–likeness (London: SCM, 2016) Modern Believing 58.4 (2017) 418–420 

Review of Brannon Hancock The Scandal of Sacramentality: The Eucharist in Literary and Theological Perspectives (Cambridge: James Clarke, 2014) Modern Believing 58.1(2017) 72–74

Dinah Livingstone The Making of Humanity: Poetic Vision and Kindness (London: Katabasis, 2017) Church Times 22/29 December 2017  47

Terence Cuneo Ritualised Faith: Essays on the Philosophy of Liturgy (Oxford: Oxford University Press, 2016) Anaphora 11.1 (2017) 104–107

Andy Angell Intimate Jesus: The Sexuality of God Incarnate (London: SPCK, 2017) Church Times 23 June 2017

Malcolm Guite Parable and Paradox: Sonnets on the sayings of Jesus and other poems (Norwich: Canterbury Press, 2016) Praxis News of Worship  2017

Marion Ann Taylor & Heather E. Weir (eds) Women in the Story of Jesus: The Gospels through the Eyes of Nineteenth–Century Female Biblical Interpreters (Grand Rapids MI: Wm B. Eerdmans Publishing, 2016) Church Times 27 January 2017

Stephen Mark Holmes Sacred Signs in Reformation Scotland: Interpreting Worship, 1488–1590 (Oxford: Oxford University Press, 2015) The Journal of Theological Studies 67.2 (2016) 840–842; doi: 10.1093/jts/flw110

Guiseppe Giordan and Linda Woodhead (eds) A Sociology of Prayer (Farnham, Surrey & Burlington VT: Ashgate, 2015) Anaphora10.1 (2016) 110–113

Ronald Grimes The Craft of Ritual Studies (Oxford & New York: Oxford University Press, 2013) Anaphora 9.1 (2015) 96–99

Cally Hammond The Sound of the Liturgy: How Words Work in Worship (London: SPCK, 2015) Modern Believing 56.3 (2015) 345–347

Andrew Davison Why Sacraments? (London: SPCK, 2013) Ecclesiology 11.2 (2015) 253–254

Heather Walton Writing Methods in Theological Reflection (London: SCM, 2014) Church Times 20 March 2015

James K.A. Smith Imagining the Kingdom: How Worship Works (Grand Rapids, MI: Baker Academic, 2013). Theology 117 (November/ December 2014) 447–448

Juliette Day Reading the Liturgy: An Exploration of Texts in Christian Worship (London: Bloomsbury, 2014). Church Times 11 July 2014

Daniel Swift Shakespeare’s Common Prayers: The Book of Common Prayer and the Elizabethan Age (Oxford: Oxford University Press, 2013) Anaphora 8.1 (2014) 77–80

Mark Earey Beyond Common Worship (London: SCM, 2013) Modern Believing 55.2 (2014) 199–201

Keith Pecklers Liturgy: An Illustrated History (Paulist Press, 2013) The International Journal for the Study of the Christian Church13.2 (2013) 167–170

Maggi Dawn Like the Wideness of the Sea: Women Bishops and the Church of England (London: DLT, 2013) Church Times 3 May 2013

Oloph Bexell (ed) The Meaning of Christian Liturgy: Recent Developments in the Church of Sweden (Grand Rapids, Michigan: Wm B. Eerdmans Publishing Co, 2012) Modern Believing 54.2 (2013) 165–166

Katharine Jefferts Schori Gathering at God’s Table: The Five Marks of Mission in the Feast of Faith (London: SPCK, 2012) Church Times 29 March 2013

Frank C. Senn Introduction to Christian Liturgy (Minneapolis: Augsburg Fortress, 2012) Modern Believing 54.1 (2013) 81–82

Thomas O’Loughlin Making the Most of the Lectionary: A User’s Guide (London: SPCK, 2012) Theology 116(1) (2013) 70–71

Brian Cummings (ed) The Book of Common Prayer: The Texts of 1549, 1559 and 1662 (Oxford: Oxford University Press, 2011)Anaphora 6.2 (2012) 84–87

Paul A. Janowiak Standing Together in the Community of God: Liturgical Spirituality and the Presence of Christ (Collegeville, Minnesota: Liturgical Press, 2011) Modern Believing53.3 (2012) 343–345

Aidan Nichols Lost in Wonder (Aldershot: Ashgate, 2011) Praxis News of Worship 34 (Summer 2012) 4

Jane Rogers Vann Worship Matters: A Study for Congregations (Louisville, KY: Westminster John Knox Press, 2011) Modern Believing 53.2 (2012) 226–227

Martin D. Stringer Rethinking the Origins of the Eucharist (London: SCM Press, 2011) International Journal for the Study of the Christian Church 12.1 (2012) 89–91

Paul Avis (ed.) The Journey of Christian Initiation: Theological and Pastoral Perspectives (London: Church House Publishing, 2011)Church Times 6 April 2012

Anton Usher Replenishing Ritual: Rediscovering the Place of Rituals in Western Christian Liturgy (Milwaukee, Wisconsin: Marquette University Press, 2010) Anaphora 5.2 (2011) 72–74

Trevor Beeson The Church’s Other Half: Women’s Ministry (London: SCM Press, 2011) Church Times 25 November 2011

Chris Thorpe & Jake Lever Touching the Sacred: Art and Prayer to Inspire Worship (Norwich: Canterbury Press, 2010) Modern Believing 52.3 (2011) 69–71

Evelyn Underhill Worship (London: James Clarke, 2010) International Journal for the Study of the Christian Church 11.1 (2011) 103–106

Martyn Percy, Christina Rees & Jenny Gaffin (eds) Apostolic Women, Apostolic Authority (Norwich: Canterbury Press, 2010) Church Times 28 January 2011

George Guiver Vision upon Vision (Norwich: Canterbury Press, 2009) Anaphora 4.1 (2010) 83–86

Joanna Collicutt McGrath Jesus and the Gospel Women (London: SPCK, 2009) Church Times 2 April 2010

James Leachman (ed.) The Liturgical Subject (London: SCM, 2008) Anaphora 3.2 (2009) 94–98

Ali Green A Theology of Women’s Priesthood (London: SPCK, 2009) Church Times 30 October 2009

Gordon Jeanes Signs of God’s Promise: Thomas Cranmer’s Sacramental Theology and the Book of Common Prayer (London: Continuum, 2008) The International Journal for the Study of the Christian Church 9.2 (2009) 151

Austra Reinis Reforming the Art of Dying (Aldershot: Ashgate, 2007) Anaphora 1.2 (2007) 79–82

Eamon Duffy Marking the Hours: English People and Their Prayers 1240–1750 (New     Haven & London: Yale U.P., 2006) Anaphora1.1 (2007) 87–89

Bryan D. Spinks Early and Medieval Rituals and Theologies of Baptism (Aldershot:     Ashgate, 2006) & Reformation and Modern Rituals and Theologies of Baptism (Aldershot: Ashgate, 2006) International Journal for the Study of the Christian Church 7 (2006) 65–67

Jeff Astley Exploring God–talk: Using Language in Religion (London: DLT, 2004) Praxis News of Worship (March 2005)

Susan J. White A History of Women in Christian Worship (London: SPCK, 2004) Outlook 17 (Autumn 2004) 17–18

Paul Sheppy Death, Liturgy and Ritual. Vol. I (Aldershot: Ashgate, 2003) & Death Liturgy and Ritual. Vol. II ( Aldershot: Ashgate, 2004) International Journal for the Study of the Christian Church. Vol. 4.2 (2004) 187–188

Karl Simms Paul Ricoeur (London: Routledge, 2002) Literature and Theology 18 (2004) 116–117

Forthcoming Publications

Article on ‘Anglican Liturgy’ for The Encyclopedia of the Bible and Its Reception (EBR) Berlin: De Gruyter, submitted May 2017

Entry on ‘Collects’ Brill Encyclopaedia of Early Christianity Entry on ‘Collects’ Brill Encyclopaedia of Early Christianity, submitted May 2018

Review of Bryan Spinks The Rise and Fall of the Incomparable Liturgy: The Book of Common Prayer 1559–1906 (London: SPCK, 2017) Alcuin Club Collections 92 for Search

Review of Anna de Lange, Trevor Lloyd, Tim Stratford & Ian Tarrant Reimagining Worship: Renewing Worship in a Changing Church(Norwich: Canterbury Press, 2017) for Modern Believing 59.4 (2018) 397–399.

Review of Albert Gerhards & Benedikt Kranemann, tr. Linda Maloney Introduction to the Study of Liturgy Collegeville, MN: Liturgical Press, 2017 for Anaphora 12.1–2 (2018)

‘Last Rites: ‘The Sacramental Surrender of the Penitent Self in John Donne’s “Hymn to God the Father”/ “Hymn to Christ”’International Journal for the Study of the Christian Church 18.3 (2018)

‘Highways to Zion: Rediscovering Scripture through Liturgical Prayer’ Anaphora 12.1–2 (2018)

Review of Nicholas Wolterstorff Acting Liturgically: Philosophical Reflections on Religious Practice (OUP, 2018) Modern Believing(January 2019)

‘The Holy Innocents and Anglican Remembering’ Anaphora 13.1 (2019)

Conference Papers, Lectures & Talks

Society for Liturgical Study (Conference August 2018) ‘Bearing Reality: Remembering the Holy Innocents in Anglican Collects’

Liverpool Hope University (Department of Theology, Religion and Philosophy) 9 March 2018 ‘Highways to Zion: Rediscovering Scripture Through Liturgical Prayer’

Irish InterChurch Meeting 23–24 November 2017 (Dromantine Conference Centre) ‘The Church as a Family of Families’

Paper for the Catholic Theological Association of Great Britain Conference on ‘The Age of Reform’ (‘From Common Prayer to Common Ancestor: The Quest for Anglican Identity and the Legacy of the Reformation’) St Chad’s College, Durham, 4th –7thSeptember 2017 

Societas Liturgica Leuven August 2017 Last Rights: ‘The Sacramental Surrender of the Penitent Self in John Donne’s “Hymn to God the Father”/ “Hymn to Christ”

Prayer Book Society (Cambridge Branch) annual conference, 1 March 2017: ‘Unto the Throne of the Heavenly Grace: The Journey of Penitence in the Book of Common Prayer’

Talk for the Parish of Wimborne Minster (Dorset, UK) 25 November 2015: ‘Spirituality and the Liturgy’

Societas Liturgica, Quebec City, 10–15 August 2015, conference paper: ‘Formed or Forming? Authority, ownership and authenticity in the worshipping assembly’

Methodist Sacramental Fellowship Annual Lecture delivered in Southport at the Methodist Conference 30 June 2015: ‘The Mystical Verse of Charles Wesley’

Advent talk at Michaelhouse, Cambridge, 15 December 2014: ‘Already and not yet: the incarnation in some Advent hymns’

Seminar paper delivered at the Yale Institute for Sacred Music, 6 October 2014: ‘Must we mean what we pray?’

Graduate Seminar for the Institute for Theology, Imagination and the Arts (St Andrews University) 25 October 2013: ‘Bound or Free? The theological imagination at work and play in the liturgy (based on hymns of Charles Wesley and sonnets written for the liturgy by the contemporary Anglican priest–poet Malcolm Guite)’

Porvoo Research Network Conference on ‘Liturgy in an Ecumenical Context’ at Westcott House, Cambridge, 21 September 2013: ‘Anglicanism and the Idea of Liturgical Revision’ (published in Anaphora 7.2 2013)

Oxford Liturgists’ Group (Merton College. Oxford) 15th May 2013: ‘What Makes Liturgical Language Ritual Language?’

The Edmund Centre for the Arts and Theology (St Edmundsbury Cathedral, Bury St Edmunds) 11th May 2013: Lecture on ‘Philip Larkin at Prayer’

Chichester Cathedral, 4th March 2013: ‘Literature as Liturgy’

Ely Cathedral, 23rd September 2012: ‘Imagining the Kingdom: the Prayer Book and the Ordered Society on Earth and in Heaven’ (Lecture for the 350th anniversary of the 1662 Book of Common Prayer)

Society for Liturgical Study Conference on Scripture and Liturgy, Mirfield, August 2012: ‘Transfiguring Scripture, Transfiguring Liturgy’ (published in Anaphora 6.2 2012)

Societas Liturgica, Reims, 8th – 13th August 2011: ‘Psalter Collects and Early Baptismal Liturgy’

Society for Liturgical Study, Mirfield, August 2010: ‘Instruction, Improvisation and Imagination: A Foray into the Psalter Collects of the African, Roman and Spanish Traditions’