Rector starts marathon reading

A SUFFOLK rector has set herself a marathon task over the next five days – and if she completes it, it will be a real Revelation!The Rev Sharon Swain is reading the whole of The Bible aloud from cover to cover to raise money for a new roof.

By Amanda Cresswell

A SUFFOLK rector has set herself a marathon task over the next five days – and if she completes it, it will be a real Revelation!

The Rev Sharon Swain is reading the whole of The Bible aloud from cover to cover to raise money for a new roof. She will take 10 minutes off every hour and will read until midnight each night.

The congregation of St Michael's in Brantham has already raised £26,000 but needs a further £49,000 to completely re-roof the nave of the church, which won't last another winter.


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Church Warden Jacky Scales said: "When Rev Swain first thought of this we thought she was mad then we thought it was a fantastic idea and something like this would raise awareness of the roof.

"We worked out timing and that she would end somewhere round about Saturday evening, we calculated how long it would take to read each book and pray that she finishes it before she loses her voice.

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"I think today will be the hardest for her, it's a bit like a marathon you start off and then think about what you are going to do and possibly by Thursday or Friday evening she will pick up and get ready to finish the task.

"We are all praying for her, it is amazing how God gives you the strength to carry on."

Mrs Swain's training routine included counting to a million to exercise the voice, counting to 40 in one breath to exercise her stomach and saying kibroth-hat-taavah, beeroth-bene-maim, ash-teroth-karnaim (exercises for the mouth).

She said: "I have worked out that I should finish by Saturday if my stomach muscles, never mind the voice, haven't given out."

A church member is constantly on hand ready to give her drinks or soup or throat lozenges. On her first break she had a cup of tea.

After her amazing task Mrs Swain is preparing to still take the Sunday service at the church.

Fact file

The Bible contains almost 800,000 words and 66 books – 39 in the Old Testament and 27 in the New.

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