Liverpool bishop given Freedom of the City


shop Tom Williams, Auxiliary Bishop of Liverpool, received the Freedom of the City of Liverpool in a ceremony at Liverpool Town Hall.

And the ceremony began with the ‘Theme from Z Cars’ – a nod to Bishop Tom’s life-long support of Everton FC.

Mark Bolesfield, Director of Regeneration and Economy from Liverpool City Council, read the resolution conferring the honorary freedom of the city on Bishop Tom.

This was granted him in January 2020 but the pandemic meant the ceremony had been put on hold until now.

Bishop Tom said: “I am very surprised and humbled at this great honour.

“Five generations of my family have been part of this city and it has been a privilege to serve here for 49 years.

“This is truly home to me, and I will always be grateful for the support which I have received.”

Bishop Tom, who has served in the city for almost half a century, was born off Scotland Road and was ordained priest in the city’s Metropolitan Cathedral in 1972.

He has worked in several parishes in the city as well as serving the old Liverpool Royal Infirmary and the Royal Liverpool Hospital.

In 1997 he became chair of Project Jennifer, the scheme set up by parishioners and others in the Scotland Road area to work with the city council and businesses to regenerate the city’s north end by delivering a new district centre.

He also worked with Matalan founder, John Hargreaves, to establish the NSPCC Liverpool Service Centre on the site of the former Great Homer Street market.

Lord Mayor of Liverpool, Mary Rasmussen, said: “You truly are a man of the people. Bishop Tom, you deserve to be an honorary freeman of the city of Liverpool.

“You’re an inspiration, a guiding light, a listening ear and a community leader, speaking up for the area and actively helping make a difference to the lives of local people, and I’m so pleased this has been recognised.

“Bishop Tom Williams has dedicated his life to serving his parishioners and the wider community in and around Scotland Road and the Freedom honour is truly deserved.”

Deputy Mayor, Jane Corbett, said: ‘’Tom is a man of the people but he’s a priest of the people and he’s a priest from the people and that – for the north end of the city as well as the south end – means a massive amount because you know that he’s there for you and he understands where you’re coming from and where you’re trying to go as well.”

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