The Saint John’s Bible 25th Anniversary Dedication Tour begins with presentation at England’s Sarum College
In Sunday’s celebration, a Heritage Edition of The Saint John’s Bible was presented to Sarum College
By Dave Deland
SALISBURY, England – The Saint John’s Bible began its 25th Anniversary Dedication Tour Sunday with the first of a series of presentations and celebrations at Sarum College in Salisbury, England.
“It brings me great joy to be with all of you today and throughout the coming week to celebrate the anniversary of The Saint John’s Bible and to join our brothers and sisters in the Anglican communion in thanks and praise for the Holy Word of God,” said Saint John’s Abbot John Klassen, OSB in his sermon at Sunday’s service.
The event began a week-long series of events in England being conducted in celebration of the 25th anniversary of the commissioning of The Saint John’s Bible and to honor Donald Jackson, Artistic Director and Principal Illuminator of The Saint John’s Bible.
In 1998, Saint John’s Abbey and Saint John’s University commissioned Jackson to handcraft the original manuscript of The Saint John’s Bible, which took place at Jackson’s scriptorium in Monmouth, Wales.
“The Saint John’s Bible is the creative and artistic genius of Britain’s own Donald Jackson. I speak for everyone at Saint John’s in saying that it has been our great honor to work with Donald and Mabel over these many years, and it’s been an even greater joy to share an enduring friendship,” said Dr. Brian Bruess, President of Saint John’s University and the College of Saint Benedict.
In Sunday’s celebration, a Heritage Edition of The Saint John’s Bible was presented to Sarum College in honor of The Reverend Nicholas Holtam, Bishop of Salisbury from 2011-2021. The presentation was made by Saint John’s Abbey and Saint John’s University through the generosity of the Catharine Elizabeth Laney Trust, with a dedication page created and read by Donald Jackson.
The celebratory day began with Eucharist Worship at the historic Salisbury Cathedral, with its Gothic architecture and famous spire (the tallest in Britain). The service was led by The Bishop of Canterbury, the Right Reverend Stephen Lake. Klassen preached the sermon.
In his acceptance remarks, the Principal of Sarum College, Cannon Professor James Woodward stated: “On behalf of the Sarum College Learning community we express our gratitude for this precious gift and all those who have enabled this day to happen. We shall treasure the volumes and use them for equipping, challenging, learning and devotion for our students and visitors.”
Attending the ceremony on behalf of His Majesty King Charles was the Lord Lieutenant of Wiltshire, Sarah Rose Troughton.
The Dedication Tour continues this week with two more notable presentations:
- On Wednesday, The Most Reverend Justin Welby, the Archbishop of Canterbury, will receive The Apostles Edition of The Saint John’s Bible on behalf of the Church of England at Lambeth Palace Library in London. It is one of only 12 Fine Art Apostles Edition sets in existence.
- On Saturday, Canterbury Cathedral will receive a rare, full-size Heritage Edition of The Saint John’s Bible in an Evensong service at Canterbury Cathedral. The gift to the oldest Christian community in England is made possible through the generosity of an anonymous American couple through The Catharine Elizabeth Laney Trust.
“This week we will be presenting fine art editions of The Saint John’s Bible to several esteemed Anglican institutions,” Bruess said. “This extraordinary gift, and the other ones that will be presented to Lambeth Palace and to Canterbury Cathedral, as well as one in the future to Durham Cathedral, are the result of the extraordinary generosity of a remarkable couple, Elaine and Bruce Culver, and the Catharine Elizabeth Laney Trust.
“Elaine and Bruce are patrons of the highest order, and we thank them and salute them from the very depths of our hearts.”
For more information about The Saint John’s Bible Heritage Program, please visit heritage.saintjohnsbible.org or call 320-363-3209.