New Bishop’s Officer for Readers is announced

We’re pleased to welcome Bruce Pennie as the new Bishop’s Officer for Readers.

Bruce Pennie, the newly appointed Bishop’s Officer for Readers hails originally from Elgin in the North-East of Scotland. Bruce came to Liverpool after studying medicine at Edinburgh University, moving here in 1981 to take up a post in A&E at Walton hospital. He continued in his medical career, specialising in orthopaedic and spinal surgery until his retirement from the NHS in 2017.
“Not one to sit around in his retirement,” he told us, until recently he was based in Holy Spirit Dovecot, which is where Fiona, his wife worked as interim priest-in-charge. Bruce has been a Reader since his licensing in 2015, the same year Fiona was ordained.

Just one of the areas that would like to explore is how the Diocese can fully utilise Reader ministry. He is also looking to work with Readers to identify their training and development needs, as well investigating how best to equip Readers theologically.

Although, he’d been brought up with the church in his life, he told us it wasn’t until he saw a poster in a church, bearing the words “If Christianity was made illegal tomorrow, would there be enough evidence to convict you?” that he realised there wouldn’t be enough evidence to make him a suspect. That prompted him to explore his faith properly.

When he moved to the south Liverpool area, he started attending St Peter’s church which is where he met Fiona, his wife. While Bruce was at St Peter’s he was encouraged to take up Reader ministry, but didn’t feel the time was right because he couldn’t give the level of commitment he felt it deserved. During his time there, he did however, lead a CYFA group and, with Fiona, ran house group which grew to around 35 people.

Bishop Bev said:  I am so delighted Bruce Pennie has agreed to become the Bishop’s Officer for Reader Ministry.  Bruce has worshipped and served in this diocese for many years as a lay leader, prior to studying and training for Reader ministry.  He brings a lively faith and strong commitment to the diocesan vision and strategy.  As a consultant orthopaedic and spinal surgeon, Bruce brings fresh insight, leadership and strategic thinking and implementation to this role which will prove invaluable at this vital time as we shape and re-shape lay ministry across the diocese.  Please welcome, support and encourage Bruce and hold him in your prayers."

Bruce said of his appointment “I am honoured to have been asked to take on this role and hope to be able to redefine and reinvigorate reader ministry in the diocese.”