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History of the World - the Bishop of Reading's Crosier
By Emma Midgley
BBC Berkshire reporter

The Bishop with his Crosier
The Bishop with his shepherd's crook, or crosier

It is known as the Reading Crosier - a jewel-encrusted shepherd's crook that has belonged to the Bishop of Reading since 1890.

The Right Reverend Stephen Cottrell brought in his crosier to BBC Radio Berkshire as his object to add to the History of the World project.

He explained to BBC Radio Berkshire's Claire Catford what a crosier was.

"A crosier is the shepherd's crook which the bishops carry around when we're in church," he said.

"Usually I use a plain wooden one which was made for me by a farmer and church warden in Peasemore outside Newbury."

The more ornate jewelled crosier was presented to the very first Bishop of Reading, who was given his title in 1889.

"The basic symbolism is of a shepherd's crook though you don't see many shepherds wearing crooks of silver and gold encrusted with jewels like this one," said the Bishop.

"Within this one, there's all sorts of other symbolism. The central symbolism is in the bend in the crook at the top, there's a beautiful little silver statue of Jesus and Peter, and Jesus is holding some keys which he's about to give to Peter.

"The job of a bishop in a nutshell is to be like a shepherd, the flock of Christ, the church in Berkshire. My job is to guide, lead and sustain that flock with help from a great many people."

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