The oldest Bible comes back to the UK

The world’s oldest surviving complete Latin Bible returns to the UK this autumn. It left these shores for Rome 1302 years ago, when monks in the northeast of England sent it as a gift to Pope Gregory II.

The Codex Amiatinus was one of only three produced at the twin monasteries of Wearmouth and Jarrow. (One has since got lost, and the other survives in fragments.) It was kept safe for centuries at the Abbey of the Saviour in Monte Amiata, in Tuscany. Then in the 18th century it was sent to the Biblioteca Medicea Laurenziana, in Florence.

It is the Laurenziana which has now agreed to send it back to the UK, alongside the Lindisfarne Gospels, for its exhibition ‘Anglo-Saxon Kingdoms’, which begins in October.
The Bible is 12 inches thick, and weighs 35kg. It contains both Old and New Testaments, and was written on 1030 leaves made from the skins of at least 515 sheep. It has been called one of the greatest treasures of Anglo-Saxon times. 

Pray for South Sudan

South Sudanese bishops have been urging their political leaders to think of their country before themselves, as South Sudan recently marked four years of a war with devastating consequences. It has left two-thirds of the population in need of aid, and created the largest exodus in Africa since the Rwandan genocide.

The Bishop of Wau, in South Sudan, the Rt Revd Moses Deng Bol, said he was praying for leaders, ‘that they will put the interest of their people first… that they will embrace the rule of law instead of the current military mind-set; and that they be willing to hold those who have committed atrocities against civilians accountable.’