28 April 2022
An elderly couple is conducting a Bible study for those who are unwell or lack access to Zoom and other web-based technologies.
Beth and Alan Gibbs arranged a Bible study roster and materials for members of their parish during a period of lockdown last year.
The roster consisted of members of St Edwards Blackburn South who called one another weekly on their landlines.
Ms Gibbs said that while many participants used the time on the phone to work through the study, others used it as “an opportunity to check in on each other and the wellbeing of their families”.
She said that she had arranged the roster so that members took turns contacting a different group member each week.
She then chose a simple study for the group to cover each week from a devotional magazine, Ms Gibbs said.
She said some members had recently told her that while they had not completed the formal study, they had instead spent the time talking about Jesus.
Ms Gibbs said she encouraged the group members to use the time however they thought best, as fellowship was the main purpose of the group.
She said that when the group began, they had just 10 members, but this number had now increased to 30.
The ages of participants ranged from those in their 50s to those in their 90s, Ms Gibbs said.
She also said that another benefit of the initiative was that those who tended not to engage with a standard Bible study had enjoyed the phone study format.