Our Beginning

The story of a young girl who saved for six years and walked twenty-five miles to own a Bible in her own language.

In 1800 a 15-year-old Welsh girl named Mary Jones trekked 26 long miles through the rugged terrain of north Wales to buy a Welsh Bible. Mary was so determined to have a Bible of her own, in her own language, that she saved up for six long years before her walk to Bala.

With the help of Revd Thomas Charles of Bala, who arranged lodgings for Mary and sold her three Bibles for the price of one, Mary Jones’ determination was rewarded. Her story – and her unswerving desire to get hold of God’s written word – soon became the talk of the churches in the area.

Inspired by Mary’s story, and by the need for reduced-price Bibles for Welsh speakers, Revd Joseph Hughes asked a daring question to other church leaders: “If for Wales, why not for the kingdom? And if for the kingdom, why not for the world?”

That question, posed at a meeting of the Religious Tract Society on 7 December 1802, would reverberate across Wales and, ultimately, the world. It was the moment that set in motion the founding of our society.

On 7 March 1804 a British and Foreign Bible Society was formed and since that day over 200 years ago, the British Foreign Bible Society has become Bible Society – a charity committed to offering Bible to the world.

Read more about Mary Jones….

Watch a documentary about Mary Jones….