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Sawston parish delves deeper into Scripture

Just before the country was plunged into lockdown, the parish of Our Lady of Lourdes in Sawston held two Bible study sessions looking at The God Who Speaks initiative. James Hernandez reports.

The sessions were organised and hosted by Seminarian James Hernandez, who has been working in the parish. They introduced participants to The Year of the Word with a look at Benedict XVI’s Apostolic Exhortation, Verbum Domini, along with a talk on ‘Trusting the Bible.’

The Bible, from the Greek: biblio meaning ‘book’, is a book that all Catholic families should have in the home and is to be read daily, says Pope Francis, so to help us to journey with Jesus in a personal relationship.

How do I start? Where do I begin? And how do I know that I can even trust in this vast volume of 73 books? These were just some of the questions addressed in that first session.

With the attendance of 12 inside the Parish Hall the atmosphere was relaxed and friendly along with plenty of lively participation. The session ended with some prayerful reading of Scripture using the Lectio Divina method as encouraged by Benedict XVI in Verbum Domini.

For the second session we had the pleasure of welcoming the chief co-ordinator for the East Anglia Diocese for The God Who Speaks, Fr Bruno Clifton OP, from Blackfriars Dominican Priory in Cambridge. He delivered a sobering insight into how a biblical scholar approaches and reads the Bible. It got us all into a deeper sense of thinking and reflecting on Scripture. 

Fr. Bruno introduced five ‘basic’ steps for reading the Bible, exploring elements such as definition and context, structure, literary devices and finally what was the overall message of the text.

Patricia Wallman, a parishioner who attended both sessions, said: “I really enjoyed the two meetings and regretted that circumstances prevented us from having any more. Whilst the approach to the two meetings was each different, they were equally helpful. At the first meeting I discovered that I was not the only one that could not quote chapter and verse from the Bible. But due to hearing God’s word at Mass it is surprising how much we do know.”

Canon John Minh, the parish priest for Sawston, commentated: “James has done a very good job in organising and putting these sessions on for the parish and I’m sure they will prove to be very good experience for him. I was pleasantly surprised just how many people came out and supported these two events considering the circumstances.”

Pictured above is Fr Bruno Clifton OP leading a Bible study at Sawston