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Dover vicar makes short work of Bible challenge

The Rev Dr Michael Hinton wanted the book to be "a page-turner"
The Rev Dr Michael Hinton wanted the book to be "a page-turner"

IN AN age when church attendances are slipping and few people are familiar with the Bible, a publisher has come up with a way of making the good book more accessible.

The 100-Minute Bible, launched at Canterbury Cathedral on Wednesday, aims to introduce the Bible to those who have never read it while also reacquainting practising Christians with its central themes.

It contains 50 Biblical stories each of which can be read in two minutes.

The 100-Minute Bible was written by the Rev Dr Michael Hinton, 78, a retired schoolmaster and clergyman who lives in Dover.

Dr Hinton said: "We proceeded from two premises. The first is that for Christians the Bible is about Jesus and his ministry.

"Secondly, we wanted to put those familiar Bible stories – such as the story of Noah’s Ark – into their context.

"I’m hoping people will read this book and be enthused to read the Bible as a whole."

Dr Hinton was head of Dover Grammar School in the 1960s and was ordained in 1983 before he retired as a clergyman in 1995.

The idea for the 100-Minute Bible came from publisher Len Budd, who runs the 100-Minute Press from Mystole, near Chartham.

"I come from a generation when 50 per cent of children went to Sunday school. Now the amount is less than five per cent," he said.

"We came upon the idea of the 100-Minute Bible, which we wanted to be an easy read and a page-turner, as a way of bridging that gap between those who might want to read but don’t have the time to do so.

"Our primary market is the interested outsider. We have made it so the language is not so formal, but so that it’s not slangy either.

"The Bible is also like a reference book and we wanted to make it a lot more user-friendly."

Mr Budd is hoping that the 100-Minute Bible will be popular with schoolchildren doing their religious education and in hospitals.

He is planning to have the book translated into the world’s major languages and market it across the globe.

The publishers have not set a recommended retail price, but the 100-Minute Bible is likely to sell for about £3 a copy.

Log on to www.the100-minutepress.com for more information.

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