In 2010 several thousand people in the North-East took part in “The Big Read 2010″. The events were based on Tom Wright’s Lent for Everyone: Luke, designed to encourage thoughtful engagement with the Bible individually, in housegroups, and corporately as a region. There was so much positive feedback that the #BigRead2011 went national.
The #BigRead2011 involved meeting together in housegroups to read the Bible, making use of Tom Wright’s Lent for Everyone: Matthew with opportunities to go much bigger and be much more creative and join in online (inter)nationally. From quiet sitting rooms with Bibles and books, to coffee shops and Internet chatrooms across the world, we encouraged people to engage locally and online, individually, in housegroups, and with their churches!
With continued positive feedback we received funding to undertake #BigRead12, where we engaged with Tom Wright’s Lent for Everyone: Mark, and then with generous funding from The Jerusalem Trust, we continue with Rowan Williams The Lion’s World for #BigRead13, whilst we plan #BigRead14 and #BigRead 15.
In 2011, we also started to approach people to write for The Big Bible Project as ‘#digidisciple(s)’, those who were concerned also to engage in the digital space from a biblical perspective, and to consider what it means to be a disciple in the digital age.
The origins of the project lie in the Big Read outlined above, but 2011 was the year of Biblefresh, so a very appropriate year in which to look for new ways make the best use of the tools available online and offline to engage with the Bible. “It was decided that the Biblefresh initiative, as it was styled, would be focussed on the year 2011, which was also the 400th anniversary since the publication of the King James Version of the Bible (although those participating are able to celebrate any translation of the Bible). We would ask churches to join the movement by agreeing to increase their church’s level of biblical engagement in four ways: reading, training, translation and experience. Centrally we would encourage our partner organisations to respond to the need by providing access to relevant reading, audio, video, and training resources.” In 2012, Biblefresh content was placed upon The Big Bible site.