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Oh my Word! 300 readers take on Bible feat.

Byline: DAVE ROBSON

FROM Genesis to Revelation, every word of the Bible is to be read aloud in a Teesside church's advent celebration.

The Churches of St George's, Normanby, and Christ Church, Eston, wanted a novel, pre-Christmas way to raise awareness of the relevance of God's word in these credit crunch times.

They plumped for a 75 hour, non-stop reading aloud of the Bible from cover to cover.

And with an estimated 593,493 words in the Old Testament and 181,253 in the New Testament, that's a cool 774,746 words to be read.

More than 300 volunteers of all ages, drawn from churches, schools and the community, will take part in the readathon at St George's church in Spencer Road, Eston, starting Monday, November 30 at 1.30pm and ending at 4.30pm on Thursday, December 3. The church will be open during the day for people to just come along and listen, or find space to pray.

And while the doors will be closed overnight for security reasons, the readings will continue -and staff will open the doors for anyone who wants to come and listen.

Scores of people have already volunteered to come along and read 15 minute passages in pre-arranged slots.

They include Redcar and Cleveland Council leader, Councillor George Dunning, who will read Psalm 23 -The Lord is my shepherd -at 11.15pm on the Tuesday night.

The idea of church member Carol McIntosh, the marathon isn't a fundraising venture -it's simply to spread God's word in an imaginative and fun way.

Reverend Julian Blakeley said: "We know the Bible remains the world's number one bestseller of all times.

"With so much doom and gloom around us, more and more people are turning to it to seek answers to their situation.

"One internet retailer recently reported that while sales of most things had gone down, sales of the Bible had increased remarkably.

"We feel the time is now right to draw attention to the Bible's relevance to the problems of today's world, especially as Christmas is drawing nearer.

"It promises to be an exciting time and I am confident that everyone who gets involved will be blessed by being part of something really awesome."

Anyone is welcome to join in. For details, call 01642 511774.

CAPTION(S):

READER: Cllr George Dunning, above TASK: Rev Julian Blakeley and church member Carol McIntosh.
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Publication:Evening Gazette (Middlesbrough, England)
Date:Nov 20, 2009
Words:397
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