1804 Partnership

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The 1804 Partnership

This partnership, between leaders of Bible Society’s work and key supporters, is about re–capturing the spirit of purpose and endeavour that founded this organisation – and scaling up what we do in this country and around the world.

It’s about engaging afresh in the battle to put the Bible at the heart of individuals, communities and nations.

It’s about helping the people God has called to lead this work.

Partners are called to give and pray, and there are events, news updates and opportunities to visit the work.

‘The 1804 Partnership is a way of drawing together, like Gideon's little army, a company of 300 supporters who will, often against the odds, make a difference in our society.

The invitation is to pray and to give so that Bible Society can continue to follow its founding vision, liberating the Holy Scriptures into the world to be used in the greater redemptive purposes of our loving God.’

The Rt Revd & Rt Hon Richard Chartres KCVO DD FSA
Bishop of London and Bible Society President


The work and people you support

  • Digital Bible Distribution
    Neil Rees

    Neil Rees is Bible Society's Digital Bible and Translation Adviser. He has spent 15 years working on software to improve Bible translation, and helps Bible Societies access the technology on offer. Working with United Bible Societies, he's also responsible for making translations available online.

    ‘My vision is that every language which has a Bible should have the best translation available online for free.

    The biggest challenge to this is the need to digitise translations not yet in computer format - those that just exist in printed form.

    Once they're digitised, revision, the production of concordances... everything is much easier.’

    Out of about 7,000 languages globally, only around 400 have a Bible translation online.

    The work to digtise existing translations and increase the number available online is a priority.

    It addresses issues of distribution (Bibles can be read for free via the internet) and access

    (in countries where owning a Bible is a risk, people may still be able to read it online).

    Neil's new role will allow us to intensify efforts in this area, as well as continue to bring new translations to birth and revise outdated versions.

  • International Programme
    David Smith

    David Smith is Bible Society’s International Programme Manager. He leads a team of seven people and is responsible for setting the strategy for our missional support to projects and Bible Societies around the world.

    ‘I long to see the transformation and restoration that comes when God’s word is released in the lives of hurting, marginalised people, and for people and nations to be awakened to the goodness of the Bible.

    We steward our resources wisely and carefully to this effect, and God does the rest.’

    David’s vision is to grow the quality and number of Bible-based programmes and translation projects, by helping to increase Bible Societies’ financial independence and operational effectiveness.

    Programmes which will benefit include Good Samaritan,

    which uses Scripture to address the significant health and social issue of HIV and AIDS.

    Already running in 19 African nations, the programme instils compassion, care and mutual support in communities fractured by fear and ignorance of the virus.

  • International Bible Advocacy
    Cristian Romocea

    Cristian Romocea is Bible Society’s Senior Bible Advocate, a role which involves helping Bible Societies develop programmes to allow Scripture to speak through aspects of their national culture. He focuses particularly on themes including justice, social and political transformation, peace-building and reconciliation.

    ‘Seeing the Bible changing lives and shaping perspectives in the arena of politics, education, arts and media is what inspires me.

    We have witnessed how the moral decay of our society has greatly impacted these areas. The time has come to establish the value of the Bible’s message in this climate of economic corruption, political confusion and lack of social values.’

    The West Balkans, for example, have been torn apart by ethnic and religious hatred caused by recent wars.

    Our projects aim to mobilise the Church to encourage justice, reconciliation and social and political transformation through deeper engagement with the

    Bible and application of the Scriptures in personal and public life.

    Working with the Church, Bible Society will deliver programmes to help Christians rediscover their passion for the word of God and its relevance to today’s society.

  • Media and Campaigns
    Paul Woolley

    Paul Woolley is Executive Director of Charity at Bible Society and oversees the Society's campaigns and media strategy. His background is in theology and public affairs, and he has extensive media experience.

    'My vision is that everyone in society should have the opportunity to encounter the Scriptures.

    In our culture, Bible availability isn't an issue. It's not that people can't access the Bible; it's that, for whatever reason, they don't choose to. We want to change this.'

    Bible Society is committed to changing public attitudes towards the Bible through high profile media campaigns. We want to see the Bible circulating through society just like air-conditioning circulates through a building.

    7 out of 10 people never read the Bible, but 8 out of 10 think it's got something going for it.

    Through big, exciting, ambitious and bold media campaigns Bible Society wants to offer the Bible to people and encourage them to pick it up and engage with it for the first time.

    The work of Paul and his team will enable Bible Society to undertake this vital and innovative work.

  • Bible Advocacy – Education
    Matthew van Duyvenbode

    Matthew van Duyvenbode is Bible Society’s Head of Campaigns, Advocacy and Media and oversees the work to see the Bible given a profile in the education of children and young people in this country. He focuses on envisioning policy-makers, equipping teachers with great resources and engaging children and young people through our own projects.

    ‘Education is how we pass on wisdom, understanding and a sense of who we are as a society. For me, growing up, the words of the Bible brought encouragement, affirmation and challenge. As a former schools worker, I've seen the incredible impact that accessing the Bible in new ways can have for young people.’

    Matthew has two key projects in this area – both with an urgent need to scale up and expand. Cross Ref-It is a one-stop online resource for A-level English students, helping them understand the cultural context of the texts they are studying.

    It helps students understand the influence of the Bible in our literature, language and culture. Matthew wants to see this expand for other subjects such as history.

    Open the Book is a project to make Bible stories part of school life. Teams of volunteers from local churches use props and costumes to present the dramatised stories in a lively and compelling way.

    The vision is for every child to hear the story of the Bible at school in their primary years.

  • Bible Advocacy
    Luke Walton

    Luke Walton Luke Walton is Bible Society's Creative Consultant and Producer of The Pitch. He has a background in theatre and theology and heads up our work in the arts with a particular focus on film. The Pitch is an annual short film competition, in which aspiring film-makers submit a two-minute filmed 'pitch' based on a Bible idea or story.

    ‘My vision is that the next generation of filmmakers will encounter the stories of the Bible, and they will shape the storytelling of the future.

    Through film, a new audience will experience human tragedies and triumphs as told in Scripture, and realise the Bible speaks to their lives in ways they couldn’t have imagined.’

    In just four years and on a shoestring budget The Pitch has become one of the leading short film competitions in this country.

    As well as consolidating its impact in the UK, Luke now aims to replicate its success through our global network of Bible Societies.

    Within the next decade we hope to see The Pitch running in 10 countries, reaching over 14,000 practitioners in the film industry and at least 15 million viewers.

  • Bible Advocacy - Politics
    Mark Harris

    Mark Harris is is Bible Society’s Senior Parliamentary Officer. He's based in the Houses of Parliament and works under the auspices of the Christians in Parliament All-Party Parliamentary Group. Mark's role includes directing the annual National Parliamentary Prayer Breakfast, running events that demonstrate the relevance of the Bible to policy-making, providing biblically-informed research to parliamentarians and leading Bible study groups.

    ‘William Wilberforce and the other parliamentarians who founded Bible Society in 1804 believed the Bible was vitally relevant in politics, as much as every other activity of society.

    More than 200 years later, I share the same passion for the goodness of the Scriptures to be known in our politics.’

    Mark's vision is to increase both the breadth and depth of the work in the Houses of Parliament. He wants to organise more public events to demonstrate the relevance of the Bible to political decision-making.

    He wants to produce high-quality research that enables parliamentarians to apply the Bible's wisdom in their work.

    Mark also wants to devote more personal attention, through one-to-one and small group meetings, to the 1,400 members of both Houses of Parliament and help them apply the Scriptures in their work and lives. Finally, Mark wants to do more to communicate to the national church the importance of partnering in this work.

  • Robert Kirby-Maynard

    Robert Kirby–Maynard is Secretary to the 1804 Partnership. He has worked for Bible Society for more than four years, and has been a Christian for more than 40 years. He is looking forward to welcoming you as a Partner, and is on hand to answer any questions you might have.

    ‘Since its founding, Bible Society has grown to a fellowship of 147 Bible Societies around the world. That’s an amazing expansion. The link between those original founders and today’s leaders really inspires me, and it’s why I think the 1804 Partnership is such an important initiative.’

    The 1804 Partnership is a shared mission and a genuine partnership. We cannot scale up this work without your support. I look forward to working with you and welcoming you to one of the Partnership’s events.

    Robert is your first port of call on any questions relating to the 1804 Partnership or the work it supports. You can call Robert on 01793 418226 or email robert.kirby-maynard@biblesociety.org.uk

Being a Partner


Partners are invited to give £1,800 a year (£150 a month) and pray for the work. If this is beyond your means we invite you to commit to 30 minutes prayer each month and to give at the level God calls you to.


Prayer is at the centre of all we do and we trust that all partners will support us in this important way. Half an hour of prayer each month works out at around a minute a day.

To become a partner, we invite you to give and pray.

Through the 1804 Partnership our aim in the future is to raise an additional £540,000 every year. This will enable us to make significant advances in six key areas of work.

All partners will have the opportunity to:

  • Direct their giving to the area of work they are most interested in or to where it is most needed across all areas on an annual basis
  • Learn about new initiatives at the annual anniversary event in March
  • Attend a regular roundtable event in December, when they can discuss programme strategy with each of the key leaders as well as other senior Bible Society staff
  • Engage in occasional additional events hosted by other partners

Partners will also receive:

  • regular prayer bulletins
  • progress updates on the work
  • notification of events
  • access to all leaders as well as Bible Society senior staff and trustees through  the Partnership Secretary, Robert Kirby-Maynard

Get in touch

To become a partner, or to find out more about the 1804 Partnership:

Email: robert.kirby-maynard@biblesociety.org.uk
Phone: 01793 418226