Exhibition on tour in UK since 1891 brings story of Biblical times to Mansfield

An historic mobile Bible exhibition which has been touring the UK since 1891 is coming to Mansfield.

Monday, 29th November 2021, 1:24 pm
Updated Monday, 29th November 2021, 2:53 pm

The “Bible Comes to Life” event will be at the town’s Calvary Chapel, on Thursday, December 9 and Friday, December 10.

It features models, artefacts, cameos, scrolls, as well as first person character talks by people in authentic Middle Eastern clothing.

According to the organisers, CMJ UK – The Church’s Ministry Among Jewish People – the display describes Biblical times, explaining the life and faith of Israelites and Christians living 3,000 years ago.

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Ancient artefacts on show at the historic Bible Comes to Life exhibition

The display was originally devised by Jerusalem-born Samuel Schor who came to the UK to be a vicar. He gathered artefacts to use as teaching aids and took his Bible exhibition on the road in 1891.

When it was held in Islington, in 1910, the show was said to have attracted more than 300,000 people. Today’s pared down display still features some of his original items.

Organisers say the event is suitable for all ages, and relevant to primary school children studying the development of Christianity, Judaism and Jewish/Christian relations.

Leicester-based Janey and Paul Hames who drive the spectacle around the country in their van say it offers something for everyone, whether they are interested in religion, language, history or even textiles.

Model of the Ark of the Covenant

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Janey said “The exhibition has been running for about 130 years this year, but due to Covid we had to cancel lots of events last and downsize it a bit.

“We’ve been to Mansfield before, we previously stopped off at the Queen Elizabeth’s Academy and shared the display with about 100 fascinated children.

A Centurion's helmet on display at the exhibition.

“There are lots of interesting items, we have a model of the Ark of the Covenant and a beautiful backdrop of Jerusalem, which is quite spectacular, both from the original display.

“We also have some Torah scrolls, written on vellum, of the first five books of the Bible. We have a 180-year-old Yemenite scroll which is about 150 feet long when unrolled.

“We also have a beautiful Bethlehem bridal gown. It is exquisite, anyone interested in fabrics would love to see that, it has gold thread, the little jacket is very Middle Eastern, rich and vibrant in colour, but the lining is tartan!

“There is a fascinating story behind that. To find out why, come along to the exhibition.”

School children attend one of the Bible Comes to Life Exhibits

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Temple model at the Bible Comes to Live Exhibition