Let in the Light at Lichfield Cathedral

Tuesday February 8 2011

“Translation it is that openeth the windows to let in the light…”.  So says the preface to the 1611 King James version of the bible, the most famous, and arguably best loved, of all the versions of the Bible. 

2011 sees the 400th anniversary of the first publication of the King James “authorised” version.  Cathedrals and museums up and down the country will be marking the anniversary, but Lichfield Cathedral will be among the leaders in the field with a world-class exhibition during Lent. 

From 9 March to 15 April the Cathedral will host a free exhibition telling the tumultuous story of how the Bible came to be translated into English.  From the time when you could be condemned as a heretic and burnt at the stake simply for reading the Bible in English, and vernacular Scriptures had to be smuggled into the country, to a period when a nationwide team of scholars was employed by the king to produce a fresh English translation, visitors to the Cathedral can come and meet the characters involved in this fascinating story.  Some of them have Staffordshire connections. 

Visitors will be invited to walk the 200 year journey from the Wycliffe’s first translation to King James’ famous publication, and to view the Cathedral’s own magnificent collection of manuscript and early printed Bibles which tell the story. 

The Cathedral will also be putting on guided tours of the exhibition, to offer further insight into the history behind the artefacts.  Tour times and ticket prices will be available from the Cathedral Bookshop on 01543 306150. 

There will also be a series of free lunchtime lectures by eminent speakers on Thursdays at 1pm in the Cathedral Nave.

               10 March    The Poetry of the King James’ Version

                                    Michael Symmons Roberts, award winning poet and novelist

                17 March  The Prose of the King James’ Version and its literary influence

                                    Dr Roger Pooley, lecturer, Keele University

               24 March   William Tyndale and the Genius of the ‘King James’ version

                                    Brian Moynahan, author of the Tyndale biography, ‘Book of Fire’

               31 March    The Making of the King James’ Bible, 1604-1611

                                    Professor Gordon Campbell, University of Leicester

               7 April          Bible Translation and the Legacy of the King James’ Version

                                    Dr Paula Gooder, freelance theologian and author

For further information about tours or lectures contact Jo Burkinshaw, Education and Outreach Officer at Lichfield Cathedral on 01543 306240 or at jo.burkinshaw@lichfield-cathedral.org