Barnstaple cover to cover Bible reading

Joseph Bulmer

CHILDREN from Ashleigh and Goodleigh Primary Schools started a Bible reading marathon in Barnstaple Parish Church on Monday as part of the Barnstaple area churches’ Pentecostal Festival.

Ellie Gullon, 10, of Ashleigh Road gave the first reading, followed by her schoolmates and those of Goodleigh in the attempt to read aloud the full Bible from cover to cover.

When the children had completed their session, volunteer readers took over, with more than 100 people signing up for shifts in the round-the-clock initiative that is expected to be completed tomorrow, Thursday.

They were estimating that the reading would take 76-84 hours to complete, said the Rev Simon May, Vicar of Holy Trinity Church in Barnstaple and St Gregory’s Church at Goodleigh.

He said: “By doing this we are expressing how much we value the Bible and what it means to us as God’s word for all people at all times. Something spiritually significant happens when we proclaim the word of scripture over our community.”

There will also be prayer 24 hours a day throughout the two-week festival at the Barnstaple House of Prayer in Mermaid Walk.

On Saturday night there was an acoustic music Gig on the Green. On Sunday morning an interdenominational open air service, transferred from Barnstaple Green to the Pannier Market because of the weather, attracted more than 600 people.

These were among 27 different events being held by local churches during the festival, which continues until this Saturday.