From United Bible Societies
Anglicans from four different continents are contributing their diverse skills and experience to guiding the work of United Bible Societies (UBS), the world’s biggest translator, publisher and distributor of the Bible.
UBS works in more than 200 countries and territories through a network of 146 local Bible Societies. Collaboration with local Anglican churches is a vital part of this work.
“It’s such a privilege to serve the global Bible Society movement,” said Richard Sandy, a member of the Church of England and one of five Anglicans elected to serve on the new UBS Global Council.
“The fact that the Bible Society movement has God’s Word at the heart of its mission is a great support for the Anglican Church. We know that God’s Word changes lives, and Bible Societies, with their global presence, can help us to bring it to people everywhere.”
His fellow Anglicans on the Council are Bishop John Chew, retired Archbishop of the Province of the Anglican Church of South East Asia; Dr Rosalee Velloso Ewell, Executive Director of the Theological Commission of the World Evangelical Alliance; Revd Canon Dr Mkunga Mtingele, General Secretary of the Bible Society of Tanzania, and Francisco Viguera, General Secretary of the Bible Society of Chile.
Serving on the Council not only brings them together as Anglicans from very different backgrounds, but also offers them the opportunity to contribute to a team which unites members of different Churches.
“We are such a global group! It’s wonderful to be with brothers and sisters from different parts of the world and different confessions, yet with the same commitment,” said Bishop John. “Our common concern is to treasure the Word and to make it as available as possible. The commitment that Bible Societies have to this mission is very rare.”
At local level, Bible Societies serve the Anglican Church in many different ways. Alongside the core work of translating, publishing and distributing the Bible, Bible Societies provide, for example, Scripture engagement materials. This is a significant way in which the Bible Society of Tanzania serves the Anglican Church, said Revd Mtingele.
“Our mandate is to make the Bible available, but it’s vital that people can also understand it. We know the Anglican Church really values our Scripture engagement materials. By providing what it wants, we can ensure that it really understands our work and is committed to partnering with us.”
Scripture engagement materials are also part of the Bible Society’s service to the Anglican Church in Chile, along with training for pastoral leaders. And an exciting new development there, says Francisco Viguera, is that the Anglican Church is looking to the Bible Society for assistance in setting up Christian schools.
“This is wonderful news. We know that there is great potential for us to work even more closely with the Anglican Church in the future.”
UBS Director General, Michael Perreau, is grateful for the strong commitment that the worldwide Anglican Communion has made, through these representatives on the UBS Global Council, to supporting United Bible Societies’ mission.
“Bible Societies exist to serve all Churches,” he said. “We have a long history of partnership with the Anglican Communion and now have a very supportive Anglican presence on our Council. Working together, we can pursue our common mission of ensuring the Bible is available and accessible globally.”
United Bible Societies is a fellowship of 146 Bible Societies operating in more than 200 countries and territories. Together, they are the world’s biggest translator, publisher and distributor of the Bible. Bible Societies are also active in areas such as HIV/AIDS prevention, trauma healing and literacy. Bible Societies work with all Christian Churches and many international non-governmental organisations. For more information, visit www.unitedbiblesocieties.org or contact Communications@biblesocieties.org