Exciting find by the church recorders

Church recording at St Mary’s, Bathwick Hill is almost at an end. The committee were excited to learn of an unexpected discovery made by the group.

While sorting through a safe containing long forgotten papers, at the bottom, wrapped in an old sheet, they discovered an old family bible. This turned out to be a ‘treacle’ version of a Coverdale Bible. This rare bible can be dated very precisely to 1542 or 1543. The translation of Jeremiah 8 verse 22 was incorrect , ’balm’ or 'medicine' was replaced with ‘ tracle" hence it is known as a ‘ treacle bible’ and the value substantially enhanced. The Diocese has given permission to sell at auction and we wait to learn what this will be! In the safe at the church there was also a note about the book. It was gifted to St. Mary's in the early 1900s to be sold to cover the costs of redecoration following a fire in the south gallery of the church. However sufficient funds had been raised already for this so the Bible had been put in to the safe (which is a big one!) and forgotten about.

Helen Moss a member of the Church council said ‘The money will be so useful as the Church is celebrating 200 years in the present building. We are extremely grateful to The Arts Society Bath.’

The Coverdale Bible was the first complete modern English translation of the bible and the first officially  approved bible (with Royal licence)  to be printed.