Jarrow youngsters add new chapters to Codex bible

Youngsters Lacy May Burridge, Jessie Davies and Maddison Scott with their Codex drawings.
Youngsters Lacy May Burridge, Jessie Davies and Maddison Scott with their Codex drawings.

South Tyneside youngsters are creating new chapters to one of history’s most influential books produced in the region 13 centuries ago.

The Codex Amiatinus, three Latin bibles, were transcribed and illuminated at Wearmouth-Jarrow monastery and left St Peter’s Church for Rome in AD 716 as a gift from Abbot Ceolfrith to Pope Gregory II.

As part of the Codex 1300 commemoration of that literary pilgrimage to Rome, a leatherbound copy of the ‘Children’s Codex’ will leave St Peter’s Church in June to be presented to Pope Francis in the Vatican.

The Children’s Codex will first visit Westminster Abbey to be signed by the Archbishop of Canterbury Justin Welby, before continuing its journey to Rome and put on display in the Vatican.

The Codex 1300 anniversary commemorative project is being coordinated by the Parish of Jarrow and South Tyneside Council, along with Speak (St Peter’s Educational Activities for Kids), and Sunderland City Council.

All 20 schools in Jarrow, along with 118 in Sunderland, have been invited to be involved in this prestigious and historical event, writing and designing pages.

Deputy leader of South Tyneside Council with responsibility for culture and leisure, Coun Alan Kerr, said: “This is a momentous project for our young people to be involved in. The creative talents of our young people, and the historic origins of the Codex, will be celebrated by people from across the globe when they visit the Vatican.

“I am thrilled that these new chapters will also go on permanent display in our own communities to allow people from outside and across the borough to be part of this wonderful project.”