Role of communications recognised in new Liverpool lay Canon appointment

Rachel Harden - Deputy Director of Communications for the Church of England - is to have her contribution to the church recognised as she is made a lay Canon of Liverpool Cathedral during the Evensong service on December 9th.

Rachel has longstanding connections to the Diocese of Liverpool and the city. Rachel worked on a range of Liverpool media outlets having trained as a journalist on the South London News Group. She was a reporter for the Liverpool Post and Echo, but also contributed to BBC Radio Merseyside and edited the diocesan magazine Livewire.  During that time her husband John Kiddle, now Archdeacon of Wandsworth, served as a curate in Ormskirk and a vicar in Huyton.

Rachel's installation as a Canon of the Cathedral is also recognition of the challenging and important role that communications professionals play in supporting the mission and ministry of the Church of England. Rachel, who previously worked for the Church Times and BBC campaigns, has played a pivotal role in the national communications office since 2008 and currently manages national communications around safeguarding issues.

The Bishop of Liverpool, the Rt Revd Paul Bayes who will install Rachel said "It is my privilege to install Rachel as Canon of Liverpool Cathedral. When I worked for the national church I witnessed at first hand the dedication and professionalism with which she approached the massive communication task. That work continues and as a Bishop I am immensely grateful for the work she and her colleagues carry out. It is our honour to have her as Canon".

Rachel said: "I am a city girl and loved living and working in Liverpool as much as London where I was born and bred and now live. Communicating is part of my DNA and the Church has a fantastic network of professional communicators of which I am just one. It is a privilege to be appointed lay canon of Liverpool Cathedral".

Rev Arun Arora, Director of Communications for the Church of England said:
"I am thrilled and delighted that Rachel's enormous contribution to the work of the Church will be recognised in this way. Rachel's commitment, tenacity and insight into communicating the mission of the Church of England is evident to all those who have worked alongside her over the past decade. Her outstanding professionalism, pastoral sensibility and mischievous sense of humour make her an invaluable colleague whose installation will be cheered on by many within the Church."

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Lay Canons at Liverpool Cathedral

Honorary Canons are those lay and ordained who make a particular contribution to the life of the church. They have few formal functions (apart from electing the Bishop, where they may only vote for the candidate nominated by the Crown) but much informal influence. The College of Canons meets twice a year, and all members of the College will receive an invitation from time to time to contribute of their wisdom and experience.

Find out more about Liverpool Cathedral here.

More information on the work of the Communications Office at Church House, Westminster can be found here.

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