How we work

Teasing out the common threads

The Bible Reading Fellowship has been working for almost a century to help people understand and engage with the Bible and the Christian faith.

We've picked out five threads that recur through our history and have helped to shape the way we approach our work today.

Across denominations

The Bible Reading Fellowship is a charity and that works with churches of all denominations. Who Let The Dads Out? started in a Baptist Church, Messy Church started in an Anglican Church and The Gift of Years started as an ecumenical local partnership between the Methodist and Anglican Church in a small town. 

Our authors and readers represent many denominations, and today we support over 3000 Messy Churches and over 200 Who Let The Dads Out? groups in churches that are Anglican, Baptist, Free, Lutheran, Methodist, Pentecostal, Roman Catholic, Salvation Army and Vineyard (to name but a few!). BRF believes, with the historic churches, in one God, who is Father, Son and Holy Spirit.

BRF itself began with a vision to help people get back to the fundamentals of their Christian faith. As part of this, a monthly leaflet was distributed among members of the Fellowship to help them read to the Bible and pray together. Although from Anglican roots, it wasn't long before this approach was being shared across denominations.

It has been a cause of real thankfulness that from the beginning the Fellowship has included members of the Church of England representing every shade of ecclesiastical opinion. But it was not long before Free Churchmen also began to join the Fellowship and, we are most happy to say, have been doing so in ever-growing numbers.

Revd Leslie Mannering, BRF Founder, 1947

Revd Leslie Mannering

Whatever your denomination, we hope - and expect - that you'll find something at BRF that can help you, your church and your community. We'd love to keep in touch, and would value whatever support you can give to help us transform lives and communities.

Celebrating breadth

The body is made up of many parts (1 Corinthians 12), with different skills, passions, gifts and needs - and we are the better for it. (We see this richness in part in the BRF staff team)

Very early on in our history, BRF published two series of Bible reading notes (inspiringly titled Series A and Series B!), recognising that one size doesn't fit all. Today, we publish five different series of Bible reading notes and a range of other resources in the hope that we will be able to encourage and inspire a wide variety of people in their understanding of the Bible. 

Rooted in the local church

BRF started with one church leader serving God where he was, providing a local solution to a local problem. Several initiatives that are now part of BRF - Messy Church, Who Let The Dads Out? and The Gift of Years - started in a local setting, addressing local needs and opportunities.

We seek to support the local church, offering a range of initiatives and tried and tested resources, so that local churches can benefit directly from the experience and expertise of other local initiatives.

We see ourselves as standing alongside the local church, offering a whole range of resources to support the church in ministry and outreach. Our hope is that those who have benefited from our work and generosity would in turn be generous back to us, to enable us to continue to enable, equip and resource others.

Richard Fisher, BRF's Chief Executive

Working with local people

Our passion is to see lives and communities transformed through the Christian faith, and we believe that the most effective way to achieve this is to work with local people, churches and schools who are best placed to make this happen.

For example, we work with a skilled team of freelancers to help deliver our schools work, reaching parts of the country that we can't with our small staff team. A significant strand of our work, including Messy Church, Who Let The Dads Out? and The Gift of Years, is to raise up, train and encourage members of local churches to be effective in their ministry and outreach to others.

In so doing, we hope to be a catalyst for local work and ministry, making widely available the wisdom, expertise and support of our collective teams.

Generosity

As a charity our desire is to make a difference, not make money. As a result, we seek to make what we have to offer as affordable and widely available as possible while carefully managing what we do.

For example, we charge for Barnabas RE Days and In-Service Training (INSET) sessions that we offer to schools, but these fees are set at a level that is realistic for tight school budgets. If the fees charged represented the true costs, then schools wouldn't be able to afford to pay, and we would work with far fewer schools.

As a result, much of our work is supported by donations from individuals, churches and trusts. This funding also enables us to be generous with our time and resources as opportunities arise.

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