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Issue 285 – Bible marathon helps the poor

The Anglican Bishop of Taunton, the Rt Revd Peter Maurice, was one of the 150 people who took part in an ambitious ‘Bible Marathon’ in Frome.

The sponsored event, which ran over four days and three nights, raised an impressive £1,000 for the Anglican Archbishops’ Appeal for Zimbabwe.
Starting at 8.00am on Thursday 8th October, it took around 76 hours for readers to cover the entire Bible. The non-stop reading was passed between participants, who each took on a 15 minute segment.
Although the order followed the King James Authorised Version, participants were free to use their own Bibles. On Thursday morning, the Bishop read from Genesis Chapter 30 verse 13 to the end of Chapter 32 from his ordination Bible. “I’ve never been aware of an event like this in the diocese before. It’s extraordinary”, he said. The other readers, aged from 9 to 90, came from a number of churches across Frome.
The marathon was organised by Frome Area Churches Together. It was the brainchild of Ann Burgess, who was inspired by a special report on Zimbabwe on the Today programme. “It revealed so much suffering”, she explained. “I thought: we’ve got to do some fundraising.”
David Brinn, chairman of Frome Area Churches Together, enthusiastically embraced the idea of a Bible marathon. “It was a bit of a struggle to get volunteers at first, but over the last few days we’ve struggled to find slots for people. People keep ringing up asking to get involved!” he said.
The event was hosted by a number of churches across the town, including Christchurch, Holy Trinity Church, St John’s Church, and the Wesley Methodist and Baptist Churches. Overnight sessions were held at St Catharine’s Roman Catholic Church.
The completion of the marathon was celebrated with an ecumenical service on Sunday 11th October at the Cheese and Grain Hall in the town centre.