Open the Book in the heart of Westminster

Twenty years on from its humble beginnings, schools storytelling initiative Open the Book holds a national celebration in the capital.

Bible Society marked the 20th anniversary of its Open the Book programme with a grand celebration at Methodist Central Hall, Westminster last weekend.

Beginning with just one group in Bedford in 1999, Open the Book now has more than 17,000 volunteer storytellers who between them reach 850,000 primary school children in more than 3,000 schools.

The Westminster event at the iconic Central Hall near the Houses of Parliament was part of a year of celebrating God's goodness through Open the Book.

It featured contributions from author and storyteller Bob Hartman, Open the Book head Julie Jefferies and spoken word artist Dai Woolridge, as well as addresses by Bible Society Chief Executive Paul Williams and Canon Dr Ann Holt. Music was provided by SOW (Sound of Wales)

As well as expressing gratitude for the last 20 years, the congregation were encouraged to look forward and think of the impact the Bible can have on future generations as Open the Book continues to grow.

After a commissioning prayer by Bible Society's Deputy Chief Executive Paul Woolley, supporters mingled over tea and cake.

The next event in the 20th Anniversary celebration year is on 1 October at All Nations Church, Bedford.

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