We followed our usual format of a Full English Breakfast in the village pub - the Beauchamp Arms - followed by a presentation with slides and video from a guest speaker; this time Mr Graham Highton representing 'Good News For Everyone' - previously called 'Gideons UK'.
He explained why they had had to reorganize and change their name - the UK government had pointed out that the organisation's treatment of women separately from men broke UK law. However, their long-term parent group 'Gideons International' based in the USA, had refused to allow them to restructure to meet UK law, so they had no option but to withdraw from the International organisation and set-up their own UK-based group.
They were continuing their traditional work of spreading the Christian Gospel by
placing Bibles in hotels, hospitals and prisons and visiting those organisations that welcomed them. They had also formed alliances with other ex-Gideon groups in other countries that had also broken away from the International organisation, notably Canada, and were continuing to build such links.
Mr Highton said that unfortunately due to recent Covid precautions, several places including hospitals and hotels had withdrawn the Bibles they had previously accepted - one previously keen supporting hotel chain had returned pallet-loads of Bibles so they had sent them on to the Gambia for use there. They still gave out many hundreds of Bibles and New Testament booklets, especially to schools and had produced two free magazines called 'Hope' and 'Discovery' which some schools and hospitals welcomed to give out to individuals.
He then showed two powerful videos they had developed that were being used especially in schools
to pass on the Gospel message; one a re-enactment in a modern context of the Parable of the Prodigal son (Luke 15:11-32), whilst the other started with a cartoon format showing a man in prison who read a Bible they had placed in his cell that enable him to turn his life around... which then changed to show the actual man finishing the account of the way that had prevented him from committing suicide and go on to live a usual life plus another person explaining what the parable meant - a powerful and useful method of spreading the Gospel message of caring love.
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