Churches across the UK and Ireland have members who speak other languages. They also have people they are reaching out to who speak other languages.
Wycliffe has experience of many languages and cultures. We can help you find resources in other languages and resources that help you think through how your church can see language and cultural variation as a blessing, not just a barrier.
Simple steps towards increasing welcome and inclusion
Schools in the UK and Ireland often have welcome and other signs in multiple languages. Churches can do the same and much more. This isn’t just for people who can’t speak English, but expresses the idea that all are welcome and included.
Many excellent resources have been developed to help churches and individuals think more about issues of race, justice, culture and diversity. There is not so much written about language, but here are Ten reasons for a more multilingual church and Five ways to use other languages (a bit) in your church.
The Beyond Disaster programme from the Trauma Healing Institute provides materials to help people recover from natural and man-made disasters. The Bible-based Beyond Disaster booklet in Ukrainian may be particularly useful at this time, and the English version is available here.
The Trauma Healing Institute offers lots more information about how individuals and churches can help those who have experienced trauma, as well as resources in various languages.
Finding Bibles and other resources
Across a range of apps and websites, Scripture is available digitally in over 2,100 languages!
YouVersion Bible app and website has the largest collection of digital Bibles and New Testaments – in over 1,900 languages. Many are also in audio form or accompanied by films, including the JESUS film and Lumo Gospels.
Faith Comes By Hearing provides audio Scripture in over 1,700 languages. Most are supplied with text, and over 1,100 now have Lumo Gospel films.
ScriptureEarth.org is the most comprehensive public index of available Scriptures. It provides links to material from YouVersion, Faith Comes By Hearing, Global.Bible, The JESUS Film Project, Global Recordings Network, and many others, as well as hosting Scripture in a range of formats for print or other distribution.
New Neighbour Bible has a narrower focus on more recent migration, helping churches understand the wide range of languages spoken by people arriving in Europe from other nations. It provides links to Bibles and Bible stories available in those languages.
MissionAssist is working to digitise translated Scriptures, as well as providing other practical, academic and administrative services.
Finding printed Bibles and resources (in the UK)
Finding printed Bibles in English is easy. Finding them in other languages can be more difficult. Digital versions usually contain details on title and copyright holder or publisher. The following sources may be helpful in finding copies. Some supply individual copies; others are better for bulk orders:
- The Bible Society. See also Scottish Bible Society (partnering with 10ofthose.com) and Bible Society Northern Ireland.
- CityBibles.com is based in the Netherlands but ships quickly to the UK. If ordering 500 or more you can even customise your own design.
- Latest technologies in print on demand have enabled the Digital Bible Society to make printed Scriptures available in hundreds of languages via Amazon.co.uk. (This includes over 400 translated by Wycliffe.)
- Have you tried your local bookshop? While they may not have what you are looking for on the shelf, your local bookshop may be able to order Bibles and other books for you.
- Good News UK (formerly Gideons UK) distributes Scriptures via their members.
- You can find more information about different people groups and languages, and some of the resources available in those languages, at Joshua Project.
Wycliffe partners with and recommends the MA in Language, Community and Development at Moorlands College.
In addition to Bible translation, Wycliffe also has staff trained in Scripture engagement, trauma healing, using the Arts in mission, missiology, sociolinguistics and anthropology.