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A Letter from our Bishop

Pick up your Bible with a new joy

Martin Niemöller was a Lutheran Pastor, best known for his opposition to the Nazi party during the 1930’s. He was imprisoned between 1938 and 1945, first in the Sachsenhausen and secondly in the Dachau concentration camps. He survived these experiences and, on his release, became a pacifist and a committed campaigner for nuclear disarmament.

A former U Boat Commander, in his book, ‘From U Boat to Pulpit’, he wrote about what the Bible meant to him during his imprisonment which included years of solitary confinement. He wrote: ‘The word of God was simply everything to me, comfort and strength, guidance and hope, master of my days and companion of my nights. The bread that kept me from starvation and the water of life which refreshed my soul. And even more, solitary confinement ceased to be solitary.’

The Bible is still the most published and the most read book in the world. The Bible was inspired by the Spirit of God and is the place where Christ is found and proclaimed and where God speaks.

As we come to Lent might I suggest that we pick up our Bibles with a new joy, with fresh eyes and with a renewed determination to spend time each day reading the Bible. If we do we will find that the Bible is indeed the Word of Life, the pathway to Jesus and the doorway to salvation. If we are looking for comfort and strength, guidance and hope we can find all those things within its pages.

The Right Revd Peter Hancock
Bishop of Bath and Wells

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