The Bible Society has given Bibles to signalmen and other staff on railways in Wales, helping to fulfil a 143-year-old legacy request.
In April, Rev. Ron Keen, Railway Mission chaplain, presented 12 Bibles to staff at stations in Cardiff, Barry and Radyr.
He said, ‘It’s a terrific thing to do, because it means the Word of God is where people work. I always believe people will read it, no matter who they are, just out of curiosity. There is still an interest there in the Bible’.
This is the second year Mr Keen has presented Bibles from the Bible Society to railway staff. The move is the fulfilment of a legacy that dates back 143 years.
In 1869, a director of the Taff Vale Railway, Mr T. W. Hill, died. He was a committed Christian. He decided to leave a legacy of £100 in his will, so that Bibles, New Testaments and copies of the Psalms could be placed in railway stations along the line.
The Taff Vale Railway, now part of Network Rail, was originally designed to carry coal from the mines and take it down to the docks at Cardiff. Over time, passenger trains were added and, over the years, the interest earned by Mr Hill’s trust allowed Bibles to be placed in the 47 stations along the line.
Paul Woolley, executive director of the Bible Society, said, ‘We’re indebted to T. W. Hill for his vision in wanting to see people engage with the Scriptures as they waited for trains and worked on the railways.
‘The Bible is as relevant today as it was then. We’re delighted to give people the opportunity to read what remains the world’s best-selling book’.