The Big Read 2010

Dr Wright put together Lent for Everyone, which contained a reading from the Gospel of St Luke, and a reflection or prayer for each day of Lent. Lay people across the dioceses of Durham and Newcastle bought copies, gathered in home groups to reflect on the readings, and turned out to hear Dr Wright speak at different churches — Anglican, Roman Catholic, Method­ist, United Reformed — on an intro­duction to Luke’s Gospel, Christ’s Passion, and Christ’s resurrection. LEADERS of the study groups, which Dr Wright describes as “the real heart” of the Big Read, received training from the Lindis­farne Regional Training Partnership, an ecumenical training centre based in the north-east. There was “a high level of enthus­iasm and excitement” for the groups, Dr Wright said. “I was delighted at the fact that it was not just the usual suspects turning up to Lent groups, but also ‘ordinary’ people, the sort of people who don’t usually read com­mentaries. In many cases, people were saying, ‘I’ve never really read the Gospels properly for myself.’” Bishop Bryant says that the groups took an Ignatian, experiential ap­proach to reading scripture, encour­aging people “to imagine themselves into a situation” rather than posing a series of questions that had to be answered. This approach went down particularly well with inner-city, “non-book” churches, who told the Bishop it was the best Lent course that they had ever done.

Durham Cathedral hosted a “Bible Read” — a public reading of the Bible over a period of 12 days, inspired by St Paul’s instruc­tion: “Pay atten­tion to the public reading of scrip­ture.” Patricia Francis, a retired lay hos­pital chaplain, drew up a schedule of readers, each of whom were allo­cated times at which they would read aloud from the New Revised Stan­dard Version. A total of 506 readers, of different denominations, took part. The young­est was aged five; the oldest was 91.

Read the full Church Times article.

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Were you involved in the The Big Read 2010? What was your experience? What was the best thing about it? Has it inspired you to look at Biblical material in a different way? What have you gained from being a housegroup?

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