Biblefresh Local ideas

We thought it would be great to let you in on some of the stories of how churches and individuals around the UK are creatively getting involved with Biblefresh this year! We hope to keep adding to the page as stories come in- we hope this will encourage you as well as inspire you with fresh ideas for your own church!

Here’s some stories that were sent for how people were engaging with Biblefresh in 2011:

# St James Church Woodley

CWR resources

CWR resources

An early edition of the King James Version dated 1648


The congregation of St James Church Woodley in Reading held a Bible day on Saturday 15th October 2011  with an exhibition of Bibles – ancient and modern, stalls with resources from CWR and Biblefresh, craft activities, the cooking of Bible cakes, and non-stop Scripture reading throughout the day.

Throughout the year, the church has been taking part in the E100 Challenge and travelling across to High Wycombe for the evening classes held by Wycliffe Bible Translators.

A steady stream of visitors arrived to enjoy the activities on offer and the local newspaper came along to record the day’s events. Alan Budd, member of the organising committee, commented “The Bible day was a great opportunity to open the church to the community and encourage all ages to discover the history of the Bible as well as its importance in the UK today”.


# North Lynn Hand-Made Gospel

A Hand-Made copy of St Luke’s Gospel was produced to celebrate the 400th Anniversary of the KJV.

Hundreds of children at Eastgate Primary and Highgate Infants School got involved, writing verses for the unique gospel book. The project was also taken to the local primary school (St Edmund’s Primary) summer fete.

As well as writing verses, children, parents, staff and other visitors, such as volunteer SOS first-aiders, had the opportunity to get involved in some of the gospel’s art-work. The finished gospel includes many illustrations about some of the stories in Luke’s gospel. It also boasts illustrated letters and ‘carpet’ pages, like some of the most ancient English celtic gospel books.

Work began on carpet pages to illustrate two of the gospel’s most well-known stories. “The big catch of fish” (Luke, chapter 5) and “the calming of the storm” (chapter 8). The fish are made using potato cuts and the page is caught up in netting. The stormy lake is made by collage – the boat carrying Jesus and his frightened disciples in the middle of very choppy waves.

North Lynn churches’ Community Worker, Angela Jenner said: “It was quite a stormy day at the fete! Although we were under the cover of a gazebo in the playground, we had to keep rescuing our work from the heavy showers. It was great fun, though. We even managed to keep everything dry and ended the afternoon with some wonderful art-work.”

See more pictures here!

# ‘Christmas comes to Crewe’ online advent calendar

A group of people from Crewe are getting very inspired this Biblefresh year, and have decided to focus on summer and Christmas for some major events, starting with a great idea for telling the nativity story this Christmas…

Here’s their plan:

  1. Different members of the local community are being approached (i.e. local MP, dean of the university, the mayor, shop-keeper etc) to ask whether they will be filmed telling a short snippet of the Christmas story- 24 short films will be made in all.
  2. The films will then all be put online so people can login and watch one each day of December
  3. A carol service will be held in the local community centre and will include members from the story and a couple of the films to tie the whole story together.

A competition will also be run in the local paper.

Other activities planned
  • Biblefresh Flashmob – ASDA partnering with the university CU
  • Biblefresh School Art Competition in next year’s summer term
  • Media competition for high schools- short 5 minute films of a chosen Bible story
  • Nativity role-play acted out in the local community at Christmas
# Foods of the Bible Exhibition

All 10 churches in Churches Together in Sidmouth (CTiS) have taken on the Biblefresh challenge this year.

In late June the URC staged a ‘Foods of the Bible’ exhibition with displays of herbs, examples of Passover food, pigeon, partridge and quail provided by a local butcher.

There was even a model of John the Baptist who was on show, complete with his locusts and wild honey (some camel hair from Paignton Zoo was used for his costume!)

The organiser of the event who had also taken an assembly in the local junior school, set the children the challenge of producing an illustrated piece of handwriting based on verses from Ecclesiastes 3 1-8. The posters were submitted from years 3, 5 and 6 and they were all on display during the exhibition which was attended by many of the families from that school. The best were rewarded with prizes.

Other activities planned by CTiS:
  • Picnic birthday party for the KJV 400th anniversary in a local park, or the Parish Church if wet. This will be followed by ‘Songs of Praise’ interspersed with testimonies from local people about how special verses have helped them at various decision points in their lives
  • A display of the work of The Gideons and Bibles on sale by the local Christian bookshop.
  • Some churches have taken on the E100 challenge
  • Bible Readathon: reading the Bible right through in 74 hours from 8am Mon 17 Oct til 6pm on Sat 22. This will involve 222 readers from all the 10 churches- each reading for 20 minutes each. People will be invited to come in and listen and there will be refreshments available (a great witness as this is a holiday town with visitors all year round)
# Teddington Baptist Photo Competition & Exhibition

Teddington Baptist Church ran a Photo Competition Exhibition in April. Locals were invited to illustrate a Bible verse with a photograph, and the response was huge! 79 images were submitted by 27 photographers to illustrate 68 different verses. Local businesses agreed to sponsor prizes, and friends and members of the church went out with their cameras.

There were categories for 12 & under, 13-18, and 18+. Local businesses provided prizes and their customers were invited to participate along with local residents. Photos were obvious, obscure and humerous. All the photos were then exhibited during holy week, and the public (including a group of local police officers!) were invited to pick the winners by popular vote.
Richard Littledale, Teddington Baptist Church”s pastor said: “‘One of the constant roles of the preacher is to bridge the gap between Bible and world (whether that world is urban or rural) – helping people to see God in their world and their world in the Bible. To an extent this exhibition has done my job for me.”
More from Teddington Baptist Church:
  • Bible reading marathon out on the streets of Teddington
  • A series of Saturday Bible Schools at the church. This is an in-depth teach-in on subjects from translation & hermeneutics to elementary Greek & Biblical genres. “I have been staggered by the appetite for this kind of stuff- especially when it invoves people giving up two hours on a Saturday morning for several weeks running!“- Richard Littledale, Pastor, Teddington Baptist Church
  • E100 Bible Reading Challenge
  • Working through a series of 50 memory verses as a congregation

You can find out more and keep updated with Teddington Baptist Church’s activities, as well as some great thoughts and ideas about how to read the Bible in Richard Littledale, the pastor’s blog.

# Bible Translation- “purchase” the Bible fundraiser in Edinburgh

Davidson’s Mains Parish Church, Edinburgh are seeking to raise money for the translation projects in Burkina Faso. People will be invited to “purchase” chapters of the Bible at £5 per chapter. If they manage to “sell” the whole Bible, £5945 will be raised.

There will be a simple chart showing all the books of the Bible and their chapters which will be coloured in as they are sold. The Biblefresh steering group at the church are confident the project will be completed.



# Shoebox Bible

A staggering 3,000 shoeboxes filled with 3D images of Bible events were displayed in Peterborough Cathedral in June. The brainchild of Diocesan Director of Education, Dr Stephen Partridge, the boxes illustrated every book of the Bible. Church schools, parishes, organisations and individuals of all ages in the Peterborough Diocese contributed to the display.

In one week over 800 children with their teachers from schools across the diocese visited the Cathedral to view the display and to attend a series of workshops on the Bible.

The purpose of the activity and exhibition was to provide a unique way of celebrating the 400th anniversary of the King James Version and to portray events and teaching from the Bible in a contemporary and fresh way. The boxes were arranged in biblical order so that the viewer could progress through the whole Bible- from Genesis to Revelation.

Contributors used considerable imagination and exhibited considerable talent. Exhibits include a knitted Adam and Eve (with fig leaves and snake), others used painting or modelling clay for their illustrations.

See all the photos on Flickr!

# Bible Readathon

In May, the churches of Alsager, Stoke-on-Trent read the entire King James Bible for one week at Wesley Place Methodist Church. It was open from 8am until midnight Monday- Friday and the church was open for anyone to come in and listen. Each person read for 20 minutes at a time.

The Bible Readathon was launched on the Monday at a service celebrating the King James Version of the Bible. The readers included local church leaders from a variety of backgrounds, the local senior school headteacher and pupils as well as Rt. Hon Fiona Bruce, M.P. for South Cheshire.

Other great ideas from the churches of Alsager:
  • Many are taking the E100 Bible Reading Challenge and several are listening to the Bible Society’s “You’ve Got the Time” Bible readings.
  • During Lent scripture was read in seven different languages to “bring home to the congregation the fact that, for many, the Bible is not available in their mother tongue.” £130 was also raised for Bible translation work.
  • There are plans for a local schools’ painting and creative writing competition in the autumn based on the “Good Samaritan” parable.
# Jonah and the Whale

Anchor Boys Fun Morning- Chester-le-Street, in Durham acted out the story of Jonah and the Whale using simple but effective props!

They then told the Bible story again using a story box. Each child was then given a shoebox and made simple aids eg. plasticine figures, egg box for a boat, serviette for the sea) to help them remember and retell the story. The children were then encouraged to take their story boxes home and re tell the story to family and friends.


Why not build up a collection of stories in shoe boxes with the children and youth at your church?

About the Author

For 2011, Biblefresh became a movement of hundreds of churches, agencies, colleges, festivals and denominations to encourage people, particularly within the church, to stop viewing the Bible as a toxic text, and find new ways to engage with passion with the Bible.