Children from 140 schools across the Tyne and Wear have celebrated the production of a historic Bible, which they helped to create.
At a special service on 5 April, held at St Peter’s Church in Monkwearmouth, Sunderland, the children witnessed the launch of the Children’s Codex — a collection of Bible stories bound into one book — printed thanks to a grant from Bible Society.
The codex was produced to mark 1,300 years since monks at Wearmouth-Jarrow Monastery transcribed and illustrated three Latin Bibles, and took one to Rome as a gift for the pope. The one remaining copy, housed in the Laurentian Library in Florence, is today the world’s oldest surviving one-volume Latin Bible.
Each school was given a Bible passage and children were invited to create an illustration or write their own version of the story. These were brought together in one book, which was taken to Rome and presented to Pope Francis last year, recreating the journey made by Sunderland and Jarrow’s medieval scholars.
More than 1,000 copies of the Children’s Codex were printed with Bible Society’s £7,000 grant, and every school taking part in the project received a copy. The rest will go on sale around Sunderland.
Chris Auckland, programme officer for the Bible Society, said, ‘We wanted to help young people experience what it would have been like to create such a huge document. More importantly, we wanted to equip and enable children to interpret the Bible, get deeper into Scripture and explore what it means for them’.