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Historic Bible created by children from 140 schools

One hundred and forty schools which helped to create a historic ‘Children’s Codex’ have each received a free copy of the leather-bound book, thanks to our support.

A further 1,000 copies of the codex – a collection of Bible stories bound into one book – have been printed and will go on sale around Sunderland and Jarrow.

The Children’s Codex was created to mark 1300 years since monks at Wearmouth-Jarrow monastery, in Sunderland, transcribed and illustrated three Latin Bibles, and took one to Rome as a gift for the Pope.

All 118 primary, secondary, nursery and special schools in Sunderland and 32 schools in South Tyneside contributed to the Children’s Codex. They were each given a passage, and children created their own illustrations and wrote versions of the stories.

This week (5 April), copies were given out at a special service at St Peter’s Church in Monkwearmouth.

Eight-year-old Alfie, from Grindon Infant School, had his story of the woman touching Jesus’ robe included in the Children’s Codex. He said, ‘I have never been in a book before, and I feel very happy and excited to be part of history like this. There are some good stories in the Bible.’

And Alex, 12, from Whitburn Academy, added, ‘It was the first time I had looked at the Bible like this. It was hard to put it into our own words, but we were pleased with what we came up with. This book should go in a cabinet on display in our school.’

The codices were printed with a £7,000 grant from us. Chris Auckland, our Programme Officer, said it was fantastic to see so many children engaging with the Bible. ‘We wanted to help young people experience what it would have been like to create such a huge document,’ he said. ‘More importantly, we wanted to equip and enable children to interpret the Bible, get deeper into Scripture and explore what it means for them.’

Graham Nicol, who came up with the idea for the Children’s Codex, said, ‘I have a great sense of pride that a community has worked so hard to create this Bible, and I hope these copies will be celebrated in schools. This will open the Bible for children for many years to come.’

The books will be on sale at churches and in Waterstones in Sunderland, and at Durham Cathedral, for £10. Profits will be donated back to Bible Society.

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Find out more about the Children's Codex project from the children, teachers and project organsiers who created it. 

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Or if you would prefer watch it on the YouTube website.

Author: Claire Smith, 5 April 2017 (Last updated: 4 November 2021)

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