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A Bible for all village pupils

Posted on October 19 2011 at 12:44:09

School bibles

Sixty books in one cover – that’s just one way of describing it. It took volunteers from Alvechurch 80 hours to read it cover to cover. In its most literary form it first hit the streets in 1611, and all over the country there have been celebrations to mark its 400th anniversary.

What’s the book? Yes, it’s the Bible.

Children from Crown Meadow First School and Alvechurch Middle School were among those taking part in the Bible-reading Marathon in March, and not only did they read superbly, they enjoyed the stories too.

Now, thanks to a charity called Bibles for Children, and in commemoration of the rebuilding of St Laurence Church 150 years ago, each pupil from Year 1 and above has been given their personal copy of the Bible.

First-school children have a beautifully illustrated children’s Bible, and middle school pupils have the Good News translation, with lots of useful resources.

Janette Morris, headteacher of Crown Meadow First School, said: “The children and staff wish to thank Sue Phillips (licensed lay minister at St Laurence) for arranging this for us and for presenting the Bibles to the children in a special assembly, along with Rev Fiona Lees (from Alvechurch Baptist Church) who led the singing.

“The children’s Bible is a lovely, hardback book full of beautiful illustrations and 300 stories all written in ‘child-speak’, so it is suitable for children of this age and makes a perfect first Bible.

“The Bibles have been personalised for each child. I am sure that they will cherish their Bibles and will continue to get enjoyment from the stories in years to come.”

At Alvechurch Middle School the Bibles were presented by Rev David Martin, rector of St Laurence. In the words of headteacher Karen Jordan: “All our pupils in years 5, 6, 7 and 8 have proudly received their books and are actively using them in lessons and at home. We are so grateful for the generous donation of these books, which has enabled every pupil of each faith represented in school to own and read the Bible as they want to.”

Pupils expressed their thanks during a recent visit to the school from St Laurence’s link community in Arequipa, Peru.

RE teacher Alex Faulkner said: “This has made the RE Department very happy. I’ve just used the Bible in a lesson and it is fabulous when every pupil has a copy with them.”

Next September the local churches and community members are invited to help top up the supply of Bibles so that all children entering the two schools will also receive their personal copy. Bibles for Children offers a subsidy that brings the cost of each book down to £5.80.

Anyone wanting to help with funding this project can do so by contacting Sue Phillips, Rev Martin, Rev Lee, Fr Eddie Clare, or Rev Barrie Cook.

* St Andrew’s Church in Barnt Green is hosting an event called “The Bible in an Hour” on Saturday November 12 at 7.30pm. Click here for further details.

Above: Crown Meadow headteacher Janette Morris with pupils

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