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Young and old take part in NT readathon

28 April 2017

Dawn chorus: a churchwarden, Matthew Arnold, reads at about 4.40 a.m.

Dawn chorus: a churchwarden, Matthew Arnold, reads at about 4.40 a.m.

EIGHT generations of residents from the village of Butlers Marston, Warwickshire, read out the 27 books of the New Testament in one session, for charity, earlier this month.

More than 35 readers, from the age of five to 84, took part in the readathon from 1.20 a.m. to 8.30 p.m. on 8 April in the Parish Church. It was organised by the PCC to raise money for the church, and to support the charity Send a Cow.

“Our 37 readers spanned almost eight decades,” the treasurer, Lynn Arnold, said. “Our youngest reader of five years old read a few words, and the teenagers of the parish gladly volunteered to do the 1.20 a.m. to 4.40 a.m. slots — much to our admiration.

“The day continued to flow ably in 20-minute reading slots from there, aided by a plentiful supply of croissants, cakes, and hot and cold drinks.”

The New Testament comprises 260 chapters, 7956 verses, and more than 138,000 words, which were read aloud in 18 hours and five minutes, ending with a group reading Revelation. All but two readers were from the parish.

Ben Mountford, who is 12, and read two 20-minute slots, said: “It was more than tiring getting up at 2 a.m. to do my slot, but it was amazing to raise so much money.” The PCC secretary, Linda Nevill, who read with her daughter, said that it had been “a very enjoyable and worthwhile” project.

More than £1000 has been raised so far. The cost of sending a cow to farmers from the poorest countries in the world varies from £55 for a calf to £210 for a cow — or a dairy cow for £650. An Assistant Curate, the Revd John Horton, who took part, said that the money raised was a “great result” both for Send a Cow and for the church.

To donate, visit uk.virginmoneygiving.com.

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