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  • Writer's pictureDebbie Thrower

New help for when reading the Bible aloud

Updated: Oct 26, 2022

I picked up news of this fresh tool for reading scripture aloud (writes Debbie Thrower) from Angela Tilby's column in this week's (October 21) Church Times. Sunday Scriptures for Reading Aloud ( ‘is the brainchild of the Revd Michael Hampson, a retired priest who, while he was in parish ministry, became concerned about the poor quality of scriptural comprehension among both readers and listeners,’ Tilby explained.

Tilby expanded: ‘He had the critical insight that, in this era of so much visual communication, the layout of any text for public reading is of vital importance. Blocks of text need to appear on the page in such a way as to guide both reader and listener.’

It seems to me that this tool, available for free online – or at a modest price for printed copies (£4 for the A4-sized lectern edition, £3 for the A5 desk edition) – would help older readers and those with sight difficulties, whether in care home services, in church, or for those who just enjoy reading the Bible aloud and who may just find it simpler to absorb the meaning when the text is laid out in a clear way.

For example, this Sunday's gospel reading is from Luke:

GOSPEL – Luke 19:1–10

Hear the gospel of our Lord Jesus Christ

according to Luke.

Jesus was passing through Jericho

on his way to Jerusalem.

Zacchaeus, a wealthy

chief tax-collector,

could not see over the crowds

to see who Jesus was.

So he ran ahead

and climbed into a tree

on the route

that Jesus was following.

When Jesus saw him there,

he said, ‘Zacchaeus,

come down at once,

for I must stay

at your house today.’


came down quickly from the tree,

and welcomed Jesus

into his home.

Those who saw this

began to complain,

saying that Jesus

had gone to be the guest

of someone

completely unworthy.

But Zacchaeus said to Jesus, ‘My Lord,

half of all my possessions

I will give to the poor.

And if I have cheated anyone of anything,

I will pay it back

four times over.’

And Jesus said, ‘Today,

salvation has come to this house.

For Zacchaeus also

is a son of Abraham.

And the Son of Man came

to seek out

and rescue

the lost.’

This is the Gospel of the Lord.




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