Two hundred years after the story of Welsh girl Mary Jones’ 25-mile walk to buy a Bible inspired the founding of the Bible Society, a blind Welsh woman’s dream of having a Braille version of the Bible in her own language has come true.
The Welsh New Testament and Psalms in Braille was launched at a special service at Trinity University College chapel, Carmarthen this week (Tuesday, 15 June).
Rhian Evans, who has been blind since she was a young woman, read chwi yw goleuni’r byd (you are the light of the world ) from the Gospel of Matthew at the launch. “My dream has come true,” she said. “I've always maintained that the Bible should be available for all to read.”
An appeal to pay for the work raised £25,000 in a matter of months. The project was co-ordinated by the Bible Society on behalf of the Appeal Committee and the actual printing done by the Royal National Institute of Blind People (RNIB).
“The response was amazing,” said Alun Lenny, secretary of the Appeal Committee. “Following substantial contributions by the Bible Society and religious denominations in Wales, money poured in from chapels and churches, schools and individuals.”
Speaking at the launch Dr Watcyn James, of the Bible Society, said: "Of all the languages of the world only forty or so have the Bible available in Braille. Now blind Welsh-speaking people can read the Word of God, in their heart language.’
It's intended to make the first ten sets of the New Testament and Psalms in Welsh in Braille available at main libraries in many parts of Wales.