Hand-made in Hoddesdon

September 14th, 2010 | By Ian and Dominique Metcalfe | Category: Bibles Direct Latest

Last week I was with 60 young Christian publishers from post-communist Central and Eastern Europe – countries like Latvia, Bulgaria, Hungary, Lithuania, Ukraine, Russia, Croatia, Macedonia and Poland. In their 20s and 30s, these gifted young communicators are forging networks to ensure the future of Christianity in Europe.

One Czech publisher, Alex Flek, decided 15 years ago to translate and publish the Bible into the modern Czech language. Brought up as a Marxist, he went to theological college soon after his conversion, studied and learnt all he could and completed the task last year. The Czech 21 Bible has sold 100,000 copies since it was released a year ago!

Near the same town of Hoddesdon where we were, William Caxton had one of his printworks. Now the town plays host to the craft bindery where Allan’s fine Bibles are made. I spent an afternoon selecting leather for our new Bibles. September and October are going to be busy months for us as many of our new editions are in the process of being completed.

I was struck again by the multiplicity of hand operations that go into the manufacture of an Allan Bible and I marvelled at the time-honed skills which we take for granted at our peril.

Is the future of books to be digital?  Hodder, one of the biggest UK publishers, are selling 2% of their output digitally in the form of e-books. Only time will tell, but whatever happens, the Bible will still be in the mix.

God bless the rising generation of young Christian publishers who are fearlessly harnessing all the media to spread the Gospel around the world.


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