Chairman's Notes

Members may - or, I have found, may not -- have read the Chairman's Notes on pages 34-41 of Journal 15. Those Notes showed how strongly the Society is developing in so many ways, and in writing here. I am assuming knowledge of those pages (we can send photocopies of those pages of Journal 15 to anyone who wants them: the Journal itself has sold out).

Obituaries of two former Archbishops of Canterbury who were connected with us appear elsewhere in this Journal.

I congratulate two members on the publication of splendid books. The remarkably productive Carsten Peter Thiede has just produced his The Dead Sea Scrolls and the Jewish Origins of Christianity (Oxford: Lion Publishing, 2000) ISBN 07459 4268 8. Our Orlaith O'Sullivan has edited The Bible as Book: The Reformation (London: The British Library, 2000) ISBN 1 58456 025 8. We hope that we shall be able to review both of these either in Reformation or in a later Journal. The The Bible as Book volume publishes the papers given at a conference on The Bible in the Reformation, which I convened, held at Hampton Court, Hereford, in May 1997. It was the third in the series The Bible as Book, sponsored by the Van Kampen Foundation and The Scriptorium: Centre for Christian Antiquities.

On the sixth of June eighteen Tyndalians sailed to the Dome, which is clearly the opening line of a folk-song. On disembarking, they were greeted by a tine letter from Sir Rowland Whitehead, Bt, which is printed in this Journal. The Tyndalians remained impressed with the prominence of Tyndale in the Faith Zone, (I believe that one of our Trustees eluded instant arrest by the Flying Squad when he recently corrected the date given for Tyndale's 1526 NT, by means of a carefully prepared and surreptitiously applied sticker. This Trustee, in fact our only Baronet, reported what he had done, and was met with a giggle.) On the fourth of July the British Library launched their remarkable Original Spelling Edition of their 1526 New Testament. Reports of both of these events appear elsewhere but I would be remiss in not congratulating again Bill Cooper for his achievement. This handsome little book, made to match the original in size, was noticed widely by the media, with items on Radio 2, Radio 4, Radio London and Radio Leicester and features in The Guardian and The Times, with a special double-page centre-spread in The Church Times. We were especially gratified by the latter: the editorial staff went to considerable trouble to give not only Bill Cooper's New Testament prominence, but also to promote the Society. On a following page was an excellent advertisement for the Society, Such notice is gratifying. More wonderfully, I write three weeks after the launch, and already fifteen hundred have been sold. The extraordinary popularity of Tyndale's first New Testament comes as no surprise to Society members.

On the twenty-ninth of June, at Hertford College, a CD of the Nine Lessons and Carols was recorded by Priory Records, Hertford College Choir, under the very able direction of Lee Dunleavy, retiring Hertford College Organ Scholar, recorded the carols most attractively. I recorded the readings, all but one of which were from Tyndale. Paul Coones of Hertford recorded the Bidding Prayer. The whole package, including specially-written material about Tyndale and the Society, will be available in September: our Secretary, Charlotte Dewhurst, will publicise the arrangements for purchase.

The publisher Fitzroy Dearborn is issuing The Reader's Guide to History, a large assembly of essays, each with a modern bibliography, outlining the current position in scholarly debate about most aspects of English History. This will include Tyndale. Meanwhile, Oxford University Press pursues its massive remaking of the multi-volume Dictionary of National Biography. Among the 50,000 entries covering all aspects of British life from the 4th century BC to 2000, are pleasingly long entries on figures in the English Reformation, including Miles Coverdale, John Frith, John Rogers, Robert Barnes and John Foxe, and especially including William Tyndale. This colossal enterprise is now nearly complete, and publication will be in 2004. Contributors were asked to note that as the original version begun by Virginia Woolf's father, Sir Leslie Stephen, in the 1880s, lasted for a hundred years, so also their new entries would endure.

The British Library has mounted a special exhibition of Bibles in the John Ritblat 'Treasures' Gallery. to celebrate the beginning of the third Millennium. In the Pearson Gallery at the British Library is a fine exhibition entitled Chapter & Verse: 1000 Years of English Literature. Accompanying this are a series of lectures, and on Monday the eighteenth of September, 6.15-7.30, I shall myself be debating with Professor David Crystal under the subject The Bible and the Dictionary.

The Society's links with a City Church, St Mary Abchurch, continue to he warm. I shall be giving a lunch-time lecture on Tyndale at 1pm on Wednesday the twenty-fifth of October, and we are all once again invited to share their carol service at lunch-time on the twentieth of December.

Following the successful TV programme about Tyndale in February, the Sunday Programme of GMTV filmed the Rt Hon Frank Dobson MP talking at some length about Tyndale. The Sunday Programme is interested in doing more.

I commend to everyone's attention the major Society events within the next twelve months. First, in Gloucester on the sixth of October, then in Oxford on the nineteenth of October, and then in Hartford Connecticut and New York in November. I shall be speaking in the Wirral on Tyndale to the Heswall and District Action Group of the Bible Society on the twenty-first of September at 6.30pm: details from Chas Raws, 38 The Mount, Heswall, Wirral CH60 4RA (tel: 0151 342 4425). I address the Leicester Theological Society on the eighth of December at 7.30pm: my subject will be Shakespeare's Theology.

Meanwhile, it is good that we are announcing two major one-day conferences in England. The first is on Sunday the twenty-ninth of October 2000 in the Courtauld Institute in Somerset House in The Strand, London. Details will be sent to all members. It is being jointly organised by Mary Clow and Sir Rowland Whitehead, Bt. Next year, on Saturday the twentysixth of May there will be an all-day event in and around Wells Cathedral organised by our Trustee and Convenor of the Ploughboy Group, David ireson. It is likely that on the following day conference members can opt for further events.

Finally, I am pleased to report that our membership steadily increases, and that we have sixteen new members already this year.

David Daniell

Misdirected Mail

It has come to our attention that a number of items sent to Charlotte c/o Hertford College have somehow gone astray. We are very grateful to members who have taken the trouble to get in touch with Charlotte about this and we hope that we have now solved this problem.

If you have had post returned to you but have not contacted us about it please let us know-thank you.

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