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Challenging and inspirational Bible study in Norwich

Parishioners from St George's in Norwich have completed a challenging and inspiration year-long Bible study. Helen Savelli reports.

Completed in June, the comprehensive study is called the The Bible Timelinewhich is part of The Great AdventureBible Study Series that has helped hundreds of thousands of Catholics learn to read the Bible.

The study written byJeff Cavins, Tim Gray, andSarah Christmyer has thousands of positive reviews many claiming that it has transformed their lives by giving those who take part in the study a renewed and deep love of the scriptures. Parish Priest, Fr Sean Connolly, described it as an excellent course for parishes.

Those who took part in St George's were no exception to this. Participants commented that it was both challenging and inspirational, and some even likened it to a "Road to Emmaus' moment.

The fascinating study takes its participants on a journey through the entire Bible by going deep into each period of salvation history. The group learnt the major people, places, and events of the Bible and discovered how they all come together to reveal the remarkable story of our faith.

The course content was clearly delivered through discussion, DVD and reading. The reading was from a textbook which guided you through the most relevant sections of the Bible. This was completed in the participants' own time in preparation for the next session. The textbook that accompanied the course is very well laid out with information, questions and answers available. The level at which this was presented meant it was appropriate for both those with a fairly wide range of biblical knowledge and beginners, so newcomers would not be overwhelmed. In fact, it was suggested that it could be a great resource for confirmation groups.

A sentiment echoed by many who took part, was that there was a deepened understanding of the parallels between the Old and the New Testament with one member remarking that he had wished he had done the course 20-30 years earlier as it had made the readings at mass so much more meaningful.

One participant summed up the value of the course by quoting Acts 8: 26-35 when Philip asks the Ethiopian eunuch who was reading the prophet Isaiah "Do you understand what you are reading?" He replied, "How could I, unless I have someone to guide me?" There was broad agreement by the groups that Jeff Cavins made a compelling guide!

Charles and Mary Carver, who brought the course to the parish and facilitated all the sessions, commented that it gave greater sense and meaning to the Bible than any previous studies they had undertaken saying, "It brought alive much more God’s tremendous unconditional love'.