In partnership with the Bible Society, the Bishops Conference of England and Wales invites us to make the Bible a real part of our lives as Catholics. The ‘God who Speaks’ revolution begins on Monday 30th September and formally runs for the next fifteen months.
The initiative is led by Bishop Peter Brignall, who says, ‘2020 will be the 1,600th Anniversary of the death of St Jerome - our most important Biblical scholar who translated the Bible from the Hebrew and the Greek into Latin. It’s also the 10th Anniversary of Pope Benedict’s Apostolic Exhortation Verbum Domini in which he proposes giving everyone access to Scripture as a democratic imperative; our Bishops are responding to this Papal invitation.’
Alongside the Bible Society ‘dome events’, which will provide an experience of the Bible across the country, there will be a giveaway of St Matthew’s Gospel, with a special edition for the prison community. Also in production are autism-friendly editions of the Christmas and Easter stories and grants for creative projects which engage individuals and communities with Scripture.
Fleur Dorrell, coordinator of the 'God Who Speaks', emphasises that the Bible is a dynamic, as well as historical, encounter with God. Indeed, the Bible has much to say in our present times; ‘In a divided society we look for authority and leadership, for wisdom and guidance. The Bible transcends all our societal vicissitudes and provides a perennial light. It is the source from which we draw our meaning and our purpose.’
But in a survey carried out before 'The God Who Speaks', of the 1,600 responses from the Catholic community, 53% read the Bible daily and only 34% say that the Bible is extremely important to the Catholic faith. At the end of the year, the survey will open again to assess the impact the year has had.
In response to these figures, Bishop Peter adds that, ‘we would be delighted if people took up the challenge and read the Gospels daily.’
Not by coincidence, the first day of this ‘Year of the Word’ marks the Feast Day of St Jerome, the Saint often depicted in paintings with a lion. In recognition of this, the 'God Who Speaks' also has a lion mascot who sports on his chest 'The God Who Roars'.
Nigel Langford, head of church relations at the Bible Society says: ‘It’s a privilege to partner with the Catholic Church on the ‘God Who Speaks’. Bible Society was founded on giving everyone access to the Bible and we do this best through collaboration and partnership.’
Further information and resources can be found at https://www.cbcew.org.uk/home/events/the-god-who-speaks/
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