LONDON - 16 May 2001 - 284 words The first copies of the Bible in Cockney are due to go on sale today. The long-awaited book is being unveiled by the Bible Reading Fellowship, at the Christian Resources Exhibition in Esher, Surrey. The author is Mike Coles, head of Religious Education at Sir John Cass Church of England secondary school in Stepney, East London. He said he disliked RE at school so much he vowed he would never make his pupils suffer as he had. When he moved to East London 15 years ago he fell in love with the Cockney rhyming slang and started using it in his lessons. His pupils responded so well that he began writing down his stories. He said: "I hope my book will enable people of all ages to enjoy reading Bible stories in a very down-to-earth way. I also hope it will help God's word reach out to those who wouldn't normally read the Bible at all because they see it as out-of-date or dull." The stories which come from the Gospel of St Mark and the Old Testament include: - Jesus making a Jim Skinner (dinner) for 5,000 geezers with just five loaves of Uncle Fred (bread) and two Lillian Gish (fish). - Noah building a bloomin' massive nanny goat (boat) - David and that massive geezer Goliath The Archbishop of Canterbury, Rev George Carey said: "The Bible in Cockney takes the Bible out of the formal church setting, and puts it back into the marketplace, into the streets where it originally took place. This version puts energy and passion back into the stories. If it manages to get people reading the Bible who would not normally do so, then it has achieved an invaluable work."
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