Photo Gallery: North Lynn shows off its hand-made gospel of St Luke

Community effort in West Norfolk to create gospel and mark the 400th anniversary of the King James Bible

The inspiring illuminated text of a 400-year-old bible has prompted a West Norfolk community to work together and create its own hand-made gospel.

Around 600 people took part in the project to recreate the entire gospel of St Luke including illustrations, collages and embroidery, resulting in a book which was launched yesterday by the Bishop of Lynn.

The Rt Rev Jonathan Meyrick visited the North Lynn Community Centre where the finished gospel was unveiled during a special celebration.

'I think it's absolutely terrific and very good. You can see the work that went into it and the amount of hours that were spent putting it together,' he said.

The celebration also included an exhibition marking the 400th anniversary of the King James Bible and explaining how the North Lynn Hand-Made Gospel was created.

North Lynn community worker Angela Jenner said the project included work from people living in Devon and abroad while, closer to home, around 400 children from a number of schools in the town had also worked on the gospel.

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'Community members, friends, craft groups - a whole range of people - have taken part. It's a lovely result,' she said.

'People love colouring-in and the Celtic crosses proved very popular. We have more than 100 of them and there are a couple from people in Devon and we have also had people from outside the UK do some as well.'

Contributions have included everything from colouring a three-inch square to creating a whole page of collage to illustrate the gospel from the New Testament.

The project started at the beginning of this year with research at Norwich Cathedral Library where the illustrated letters in the 1611 King James Bible were to be the inspiration.

'We wanted as many people as possible in North Lynn to have the opportunity to get involved. We visited local primary schools and community groups. We held an art workshop, visited many local church groups and set up a stall at St Margaret's Church during the Lynn Festival,' said the Rev Sally Kimmis.

The ages of those taking part ranged from reception class children at the town's Highgate school to the more senior members of the Methodist and Anglican community around Lynn.

St Luke's was chosen by the community project team because it is the most complete of the four gospels; beginning before Jesus was born and going through to the resurrection.

Everyone who took part and wrote out the verses were given a souvenir postcard to mark their achievement.

The pages of the book were put together by hand before being scanned by the graphics department at West Norfolk Council and bound together by project workers in time for yesterday's celebration.

The pages include a collage depicting the story of the feeding of the five thousand and that one page included work from around 100 contributors.

Other pages were created in carpet-illustration style similar to the famous Lindisfarne texts of the 8th Century with highly-coloured plates of intricate designs using a mix of Celtic and Christian artwork.

It is hoped the North Lynn Hand-Made Gospel will go on its own tour of the community so everyone who contributed can see the finished result. It will also be used for teaching and the project team hope it can go on display at the True's Yard Museum at some point

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