Bible Translation (400th Anniversary)

Oral Answers to Questions — Wales – in the House of Commons at 12:00 am on 29th February 1988.

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Photo of Mr Christopher Butler Mr Christopher Butler , Warrington South 12:00 am, 29th February 1988

To ask the Secretary of State for Wales what plans he has to mark the 400th anniversary of the translation of the Bible into Welsh.

Photo of Mr Wyn Roberts Mr Wyn Roberts , Conwy

Arrangements for numerous events throughout Wales to mark this most important anniversary are being coordinated by a committee chaired by the former Archbishop of Wales, the Right Reverend G. O. Williams. I am very pleased that the Welsh Office has been able to contribute £25,000 towards the costs of the committee.

Photo of Mr Christopher Butler Mr Christopher Butler , Warrington South

I welcome my hon. Friend's reply. As the Welsh Office co-operated in the new translation of the Bible into Welsh, I trust that that translation will be better than the modern English versions of some liturgical matters.

Photo of Mr Wyn Roberts Mr Wyn Roberts , Conwy

I am bound to say that we have not contributed to the translation as such. However, I am sure that it will be a good one. We have given a grant of some £7,500 to the Welsh joint education committee to assist local education authorities with the cost of purchasing copies of the new translation.

Photo of Mr Brynmor John Mr Brynmor John , Pontypridd

Would not the best practical way of celebratong Bishop Morgan's translation be the provision of a specific sum of money to provide textbooks in Welsh for A-level subjects such as economics?

Photo of Mr Wyn Roberts Mr Wyn Roberts , Conwy

That is certainly one of the many ways in which the translation of the Bible might be celebrated. I hasten to assure the hon. Gentleman that we give considerable support to the provision of textbooks and teaching materials.

Dr. Thomas:

Since it was an Act of Parliament of 1563 that ordered the Welsh bishops to produce a translation into Welsh, is it not about time that the Welsh Office responded to the consultation on the new Welsh language Act?

Photo of Mr Wyn Roberts Mr Wyn Roberts , Conwy

The hon. Gentleman knows that it was about 20 years after that Act before the Bible was translated into Welsh. We are consulting. My right hon. Friend the Secretary of State is meeting various organisations concerned with the language in Wales. He has set up a group under my chairmanship and we are considering actively the next moves forward with regard to the promotion of the language. Of course, legislation may be one of the options before us.