Helping the Diocese to explore the riches of Christianity

Rod Garners time as Diocesan Theologian draws to a close as he delivers his final Reader Summer Study Evenings. He reflects on his highlights of his time with the Diocese here.

The Reader Summer Study Evenings have taken place with Rod Garner for the final time. He was presented with a token of thanks by Spen Webster, Warden of Readers after the final session who said “Rod will be very much missed and we thank him immensely for his work with the Reader Summer Study Evenings over many years.”

The focus of the study evenings this year centred around church people directly responding to tragedies like the Manchester Arena bombing and the Grenfell Tower fire.

Rod said “We have been exploring the role of the local church in times of momentous change and crisis. Beginning with how the churches responded to the Grenfell fire, Rev Dr Mike Long the local Methodist Minister shared his experiences of the past year. Professor Kenneth Newport of Liverpool Hope University introduced the apocalyptic books of the Bible, their purpose and how they help us negotiate threatening times and Dr Andrew Crome of Manchester Metropolitan University spoke about contemporary culture in terms of its challenges and opportunities for the Christian gospel.”

We asked Rod to reflect on his time with the Diocese:

“My time as Diocesan Theologian has provided a wide platform to help individuals, parishes and deaneries to explore the riches of Christianity and address the many questions - spiritual, ethical, missional, intellectual and political - that confront the Church today.”

“Highlights would include the recent visit from Professor Alister McGrath talking about C.S.Lewis and Professor David Wilkinson on faith, science and the cosmos. Over the years along with my own teaching, I have brought hundreds of scholars, teachers and practitioners from UK, America and other faiths to the Diocese and it has all been enriching.”

What’s next for Rod? “I will be commencing new roles as Hon Fellow at Liverpool Hope University and Tutor on All Saints Ministry Course. I am also writing a biography of Cardinal John Henry Newman and continuing some Diocesan Committee work.”