50 Volunteers Read the Whole Bible Aloud in 70 Hours

For the final days of Lent and Holy Week, The Church of the Martyrs in Leicester made the ambitious decision to read the entire Bible aloud as a community. The church was opened every day from the Thursday before Holy Week for up to 13 hours a day while volunteers read from scripture, and members of the community were invited to come along to listen.

The idea for the project came after Revd Bertin Hermo heard that it took around 70 hours to read the entire Bible and thought that it would be a good way of bringing the church together. "Speaking the truth of Scripture will always bear fruit", he said.

Revd Philippa Taylor, curate at the Martyrs, explains, “We were keen to do something during Holy Week to help people journey through the week and felt that saying the words of Scripture out loud would be spiritually uplifting and encouraging.

“We knew this was an ambitious project and were a little nervous at the beginning. But it has been amazing to see how people have come together.

“We’ve had around 50 people in total reading, aged between 20 and 90 years old, including people who are new to church and to faith, people who have worshipped at the Martyrs for decades, and people from different places across the world. It has definitely brought a diverse group of people together.”

The feedback from the volunteers has been really positive, with people saying they appreciated hearing full stories from scripture rather than shorter snippets, getting a better understanding of how the stories fit together, and that hearing passages read aloud brought them to life in a way they wouldn’t experience if they were just reading by themselves. It also brought a sense of community and achievement to those who took part, and sparked conversations about what they had read and how it relates to their lives today.

“We've also had fun supporting each other, encouraging each other and twisting our tongues around some of the pronunciations!”, Revd Philippa adds.

First published on: 28th March 2024
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