Sarum College is inviting the public to view for free the first handwritten and illuminated Bible created in hundreds of years.

The Heritage Edition of the Saint John’s Bible, commissioned by the Abbey and Saint John’s University in Minnesota, consists of seven large handwritten volumes created according to centuries old Benedictine tradition.

The public will be allowed to view all volumes free of charge in Sarum College’s Seaton Rooms from Saturday, November 25 and Friday, December 1. Open hours are 10am-4pm Saturday, 12pm-4pm Sunday and 10am-6pm Monday through Friday.

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Reverend Canon professor James Woodward, principal of Sarum College, said the volumes will be “cherished” by the college.

He said: “In our digital world where we can carry the Bible on our mobile phones, we do well to acknowledge the ongoing significance of the physical text. Books remain an important part of our search for truth.

“These holy words have been the source of conflict down the centuries. They have also inspired imagination in art, music, politics and social change. The text is never neutral. It can highlight our deepest differences but also unite us in vocation, learning and spiritual growth. This is an ancient text for a modern world. We shall cherish these volumes and use them.”