U.K. Churches Kick Off Biblethon Festival

Nearly 200 people from over 20 local churches in England kicked off a Bible reading marathon on Friday during which the Scripture will be read in public for 10 days.

St. Mary's Church in London is the host of what it describes as the "unusual" event where people will be reading from the Bible, starting from the book of Genesis, every day on March 6-15 from 9 a.m. to 9 p.m. Students from parish schools, youth clubs, and churches will participate in the event.

During the Biblethon Festival, there are lunch and tea breaks with live music. Various music performances will take place including organ recitals, jazz piano, baroque viola, classical piano and dance. There will also be art works produced by local schools as well as displays by The Bible Society and other groups during the event.

Organizers of the event say the objective of the festival is to raise the profile of the Bible in England; to involve the local community in a major project; to enable people from age 6 to 90 to cooperate in a team effort for a bigger picture; to open up the church; and to allow the Bible to speak for itself.

On March 15, the last day, there will be a Celebration service where all those involved will come back together to read the final chapter of the Bible together. After the Scripture reading, a party will take place in St. Mary's Church for people to share their reflections of the event.

The event is free and open to the public, but donations collected will help cover costs with surplus revenue going to the Ngolowindo School in Malawi, a parish in Africa, and Barnabas, the children's branch of the Bible Reading Fellowship.