Monday, March 27, 2023

Connecting the Christian Community

New Women’s Audio Bible Launched in the UK

The first-ever audio Bible recorded solely by UK women launched on March 8, coinciding with International Women’s Day. Her Audio Bible is UK’s first all-female audio version of the NIV Bible and initially includes the four gospels and Revelations.

Rev. Katy Partridge, a Church of England curate, spearheaded the audio book project that features the voices of 17 women from across the country. Each volunteer brought a wide range of accents, styles, and interpretations, giving a rich mixture of culture, ethnicity and church backgrounds, reports Church Mission Society.

The heart of the project is to represent something of the beauty of the diversity of the women across the UK, and to give them a voice. —Rev. Katy Partridge, Director or Her Audio Bible

In an interview with Premier Christian News, Rev. Partridge said, “These are not celebrity voices, these are women with a wide range of accents and backgrounds. The heart of the project is to represent something of the beauty of the diversity of the women across the UK, and to give them a voice.”

Rev. Partridge hopes Her Audio Bible shows women that their voices matter and God listens to everybody. “The way women are treated in religious spaces impacts the way they see God,” she said. “If they are excluded from leading, or speaking, or worshipping, the message they receive is that their voice does not matter to God.”

Her experience when she was growing up sparked the idea of creating a women-voiced audio Bible. “I didn’t have female voices at the front,” Partridge shared. “So the message that that fed down to me, even as a young person, was that perhaps my voice wasn’t as powerful or as valuable, or perhaps even my voice wasn’t as included, even in Scripture.

She disclosed that when she entered theological college in 2017, there were no audio Bibles recorded by women and many Christian resources lack the female voice. “Even now there are about between 700 and 800 audio Bibles across the world, and only eight voiced fully in women’s voices.”

Her Audio Bible is a groundbreaking project that aims to engage with Scripture in a new and exciting way, making it accessible and inclusive to more people.

The voices behind Her Audio Bible include the Rev. Prebendary Dr. Isabelle Hamley, former chaplain to the Archbishop of Canterbury; Rev. Sonia Hicks, a previous president of the Methodist Church; and Rev. Shuna Dicks, a minister from the Church of Scotland.

“The Bible is a living word, as relevant today as it ever was,” Rev. Dicks said. “Hearing it in a fresh and new way will bring it alive and hopefully inspire women and girls to know that their voices can be heard too and that the Bible is relevant to them.”

Partridge believes, “Listening to the Bible not only has the potential to bring a new vibrancy to the words of Scripture, but also makes it more accessible to those who find reading a struggle, or those with visual impairments. A woman’s voice is particularly helpful to those for whom male voices can be triggering, such as women who have experienced domestic abuse, or human trafficking.”

Her Audio Bible is available for free. More books will be released each month with the complete New Testament available by December.

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