Catholic Church in England and Wales starts a Scripture Revolution

The ‘God who Speaks’ revolution begins on Monday 30 September and ends in 15 months’ time.

There will be a St Matthew’s Gospel give-away (with a special edition for the prison community); Bible Society dome events where you'll get to experience the big story of the Bible all over the country; autism-friendly editions of the Christmas and Easter stories and grants for creative projects which engage individuals and communities with Scripture.

It's a partnership between the Catholic Bishops' Conference of England and Wales and the Bible Society.

Fleur Dorrell, the Coordinator of the 'God who Speaks' initiative, says we need to see God speaking in the present tense.

The Word of God is dynamic, not a historical encounter.

The Bible has much to say in our present times, she said: “Brexit is a Biblical question. It’s a question about how we relate to one another, about our identity. How we understand law and govern our societies, what our place is in the world. What defines leadership for us and from whom and where.

"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.”

Catholics have a reputation for paying scant attention to the Bible. Fleur said: “For Catholics, the Bible is more than the collection of 73 books; it is the Word made flesh in Christ."

In a survey carried out before 'God who Speaks', the 1,600 responses from the Catholic community showed:
84% most hear the Bible in Church
53% read the Bible daily
34% say that the Bible is extremely important to the Catholic faith
45% feel we don't have enough time to read the Bible
41% aren't sure where to begin with the Bible

The survey will open again with the same questions when the 15 months come to a close.

The lead bishop for the 'God who Speaks', Bishop Peter Brignall, says: "We would be delighted if people took up the challenge and read the Gospels daily."

He went on to add: “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 (The Word of the Lord) in which he proposes giving everyone access to Scripture as a democratic imperative; our Bishops are responding to this Papal invitation."

Not by coincidence, Monday marks the Feast Day of St Jerome, the Saint often depicted in paintings with a lion. In a nice little touch, the 'God who Speaks' also has a cuddly lion mascot who sports on his chest 'The God Who Roars'.

Nigel Langford, Head of Church Relations at the Bible Society, said: “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."


The God Who Speaks in our Archdiocese

For more about St Jerome, the 'God who Speaks' and indeed the lion, watch the video of Cardinal Vincent Nichols and visit the 'God who Speaks' site