Chairman's Notes

That these notes are longer than usual is a mark of the ways in which the Tyndale Society is moving forward.

First, I want, on behalf of us all, to thank most warmly Dr Deborah Pollard for her splendid work as Editor of the past six numbers of this journal. She has been admirable, and everyone will want to join in this tribute. We are fortunate that Valerie Offord has agreed to be the new Editor for the next five numbers, working from Geneva. Thanks to the arrangements made by the previous editors Gordon Jackson, Hilary Day and Debs Pollard, it is now possible to edit the Journal from anywhere in the globe - or even from space. We all look forward to Valerie's editorial approach.

Members will wish to join me in most heartily congratulating our Vice-Chairman, Dr Barry Ryan, who has been appointed the sole Judicial Fellow of the United States, in the office of Chief Justice William Rehnquist of the Supreme Court. This is a very great honour, in the glow of which we all share. Dr Ryan relocates to Washington DC in the summer for the year of the Fellowship. The Society rejoices in this distinction, and hopes that a new cell of Tyndalians will soon be operating from Capitol Hill. in the meantime, our office will continue in Point Loma, ably staffed by Marilyn Perucci.

We also warmly congratulate Professor Carsten Peter Thiede of Paderborn, Germany, who in November last was ordained Deacon in the Church of England. Our prayers go with him in this new field to which he has been called. We also congratulate him, and Matthew d'Ancona, on the publication this April by Weidenfeld & Nicolson, of their new book The quest For the True Cross (ISBN 0-297842-28-5; 18.99 h.b.) which, like his previous publications, will be widely noticed.

I am pleased to say that the enterprise founded over twenty years ago at Duke University in the United States, to arrange for the editing and publication, to the highest standard, of William Tyndale's Independent Works' (that is, everything he wrote outside the Bible translations) is now achieving fulfilment. The work began under the late Richard Sylvester as a necessary adjunct to the Yale UP Thomas More project. Hence it appropriate that the first volume due in May -- the series is now coming from Catholic University Press -- is Tyndale's Answer to More edited by Anne M O'Donnell, S.N.D. and Jared Wicks, S.J. The ISBN is 0-8132-0820-3, and the price $79.99. It is noticeable that before long everything that Tyndale wrote will be available in an accessible modern edition. One is aware of the irony that Thomas More is published by the Protestant Yale University, and Tyndale (outside the Bible) by the Catholic University of America; ecumenism takes striking forms.

Closer to home, we are proud to announce the publication by the British Library in a few weeks' time, in June 2000, of an original-spelling edition of Tyndale's unique 1526 New Testament in the BL. This transcription, in modern type but otherwise in the original form, has been made, edited, introduced and annotated by our member and scholar Dr William R. Cooper. It will be very good to have this work to hand. We are pleased that the British Library is the publisher (represented in North and South America by University of Toronto Press), and especially that the price for this hardback volume is 15 or $25. The ISBN is 0-7123-4664-3. We shall say more about this in future issues; but meanwhile we congratulate Bill Cooper on his splendid work, and thank David Way of the BL for his continued interest.

Those who were at the San Diego Conference will have been aware of the publication by Penguin Classics of Tyndale's The Obedience of a Christian Man on 24th February. It was a great privilege to me to introduce, edit and annotate this highly significant book, the first major text of the English Reformation. Its power is as a witness to Bible faith in action, and as a superb piece of writing in English, both unlikely in 1528. As usual with Tyndale, his pages cry out to he read aloud. I am glad to acknowledge here my debt in the making of this to Ellen Herron of the Scriptorium, Michigan; Debs Pollard; Sir Christopher Zeeman; Robert Ireland; Daniel Bryant; Lucy Davies and specially the Rt Rev. Dr Rowan Williams, Bishop of Monmouth (now also Archbishop of Wales) whose Fifth Annual Lambeth Tyndale Lecture alerted me to fresh aspects of The Obedience.

The Tyndale Society regularly receives suggestions for publication of relevant Early Modern texts that are not generally available in print. I am glad to announce that Dr Orlaith O'Sullivan has agreed to act for the Tyndale Society as Publications Manager. She will be at the Scriptorium in Michigan until the summer, and then will return to the UK. For the moment, suggestions to her should be routed through our Secretary, Charlotte Dewhurst. Dr O'Sullivan is herself a scholar of Early Modern literature, and she has good experience of seeing her own work into print and editing major books One of her responsibilities will be to try to find financial support for such publications, and any member knowing of funds looking for somewhere to go should be in touch with her. Her very necessary work is, of course, independent of Reformation.

Publications inaugurated by our Ploughboy Group come entirely from them. Already triumphantly successful is the slide-and-audio-visual experience Let There Be Light: the story of William Tyndale made by David Ireson. The first edition of this of 25 copies, which was shown in churches, schools, WIs, village gatherings, prisons, colleges and at conferences in the UK and abroad, sold out very quickly. David's Revised Version, 'Mark Two', was shown at San Diego, and is even better: it includes new photographs of Tyndale sites in the Low Countries, arranged by Guido Latre. This new version will be available as this Journal reaches you. Orders should go to our Secretary Charlotte Dewhurst. The price for the 40 minute presentation is 30: members wishing to use it at gatherings are advised to hurry to secure a copy

The Ploughboy Group is on the point of publishing a handsome booklet about Tyndale, giving an account of his life and work. This, priced at about 3.50, is intended to accompany showings of the slides, lectures on Tyndale and events generally: The text is by Dr Hilary Day, and the illustrations by David Green. Publication is being arranged by Charlotte Dewhurst, to whom enquiries should be directed. Many of us have felt the need for such a publication to be available at meetings and or the backs of churches, and we are pleased that this is happening.

At a recent meeting of the Ploughboy Group, an adaptation of Eunice Burton's proposed Tyndale Prayer Book was suggested. Everyone agreed that it would be valuable to have shortish printed selection of readings from Tyndale to put in the hands of those who want to read some of him, without committing themselves to the complete Bible volumes, or, now, the Penguin Classics Obedience. This is being prepared: suggestions (to me) would be welcome.

Meanwhile Reformation 4 is in print and now being proof-read. Subscribers will receive their copies early in the autumn. The take-over by Ashgate has been successful. We are sorry that various unique situations held up the publication of this number. We are grateful to Andrew Hope for his editorial work on numbers 3 and 4, and to Linda Hunter Adams for her copyediting and design. Reformation 5. under the editorship of Professor Andrew Hadfield of the University of Aberystwyth is already well advanced and will appear around Christmas 2000. Thereafter future numbers, from 6 on, will appear every September. We are particularly grateful to Rachel Lynch of Ashgate Publishing for her enthusiasm: she is also planning to re-issue the first number of Reformation, which sold out very quickly.

I want warmly to acknowledge here our indebtedness to Dr Joe Johnson of Paxton, Florida, USA, who is generously making an annual donation towards the costs of Reformation from June 2000 onwards. He has the heartfelt thanks of all of us for this imaginative gift.

Details appear elsewhere of the outstandingly well-organised Second Pacific Coast Tyndale Conference in San Diego at the end of February. Our gratitude goes to Dr Barry Ryan, Marilyn Perucci and their helpers, and to all who made that experience so rich. Barry Ryan reports that the North American Tyndale scene is expanding - 5 new members in one week. I went on from San Diego to Brigham Young University (BYU) at Provo, Utah, to give lectures on Shakespeare, on Literature and Belief, but, primarily, with also a session of reading on Tyndale. I am grateful to Rick Duerden for his arrangements, and to everyone there for the warmth of their welcome - not to say the size of the audiences: my first lecture, on Tyndale, was attended by 4000 people.

Incidentally, I have been struck by just how steady is the increase of mention of Tyndale in the media, in North America and in the UK. My main lecture at BYU, on Tyndale, went out on television as well as radio, and was twice repeated, reaching a total audience of millions. At home in the UK, on the Sunday morning GMTV channel, on 27th February, there was transmitted a 20-minute programme about Tyndale and The Obedience. I was interviewed at some length, and this was followed by a good Interview with Vicki Hackett, also about Tyndale. She presents Tyndale on video in the Faith Zone of the Millennium Dome (to which 1 will come shortly) and she gave a lively and charming account of the importance of Tyndale for her, and her associates in the Riding Lights Theatre Company (again, of which more anon).

I was telephoned on 17th January by Stephen Finch. Secretary of the City of London Synod. He explained that at the inauguration of the new Lord Mayor of London it had been for centuries the tradition during the ceremony to present him with a copy of the English Bible. This year, he explained, they were presenting a copy of Tyndale's New Testament in the Yale UP edition. There seems to be increasing interest within the City Churches, those around St Paul's Cathedral, in the work of Tyndale, and we must hope that this is something we can develop. We are already part of the life of St Mary Abchurch. thanks to the Vicar, Rev. Oswald Clarke, and a Churchwarden, Sir Rowland Whitehead.

Soon after the opening of the Millennium Dome a select group of the Society's Trustees managed to tear themselves away from the burden and heat of their daily labour to spend a few hours at the Dome, particularly investigating the Faith Zone. They have to report that of the nine sections of this Zone, the one on 'Learning' comes out strongly, focused as it is on the life and work of William Tyndale. Here on the wall is a large blow-up of a page of the 1526 New Testament (misdated to 1525). and other information about him, well displayed in a running video about Tyndale and his importance, presented by Vicki Hackett. Though there are some errors (Tyndale is credited with the first English translation rather than the first printed from the original languages) the effect is strong. We are all most grateful to our Trustee Sir Rowland Whitehead who so valiantly persisted with the elusive organisers of the Dome to ensure that Tyndale's importance was properly recognised. Sir Rowland is now in contact with the new Dome authorities over suggestions fur improvements.

Charlotte Dewhurst will soon be sending out news of coming events. The first, organised by the Ploughboy Group, will be on 6th June, a day out for members by boat on the Thames, probably from Westminster Pier to Greenwich and the Dome to see it for ourselves. Tyndale Day, 6th October, will again be marked by a Choral Evensong at Gloucester Cathedral: this will be preceded by a lecture, and the lecture followed by a tour of the Cathedral. The lecturer will be the poet Ursula Fanthorpe, whom many of us much admire, and whose name was put forward for the Poet Laureateship. We are grateful to David Green for these arrangements. This year's Hertford Lecture will be at 5pm on Thursday 19th October in Examination Schools, Oxford. It will given by Professor Morna Hooker, Lady Margaret Professor of Divinity in the University of Cambridge and an authority on the Greek New Testament. Her subject will be Tyndale as Translator. The lecture will be followed, as usual, by a reception in the Principal's Lodgings at Hertford, and a dinner.

Many members will remember with pleasure the day in June last year organised jointly by the British Library and the Tyndale Society. This year, we are repeating the event, but later in the year. We hope it will now take place in late October, again in the Conference Suite of the British Library: it is probable that the event will enlarge into a mini-conference, with activities the day before.

The reason for this is as follows It is most likely that a Tyndale Conference in Leuven in September 2002 could be part of lavish local celebrations of Flanders' 700 years of history. It has therefore been decided to postpone this year's conference at Leuven until September 2002. In its place in 2000 will be the one-day event, perhaps expanding to two, at the British Library in London in October. Dr Guido Latre will return all deposits received: you do not need to apply to him for them. We are most grateful to him for his initiatives in connecting us to the special events, in Leuven and Antwerp, in 2002. We promise a magnificent experience in Belgium in September 2002: and very good things in London in October 2000 - details will be sent to members. I should add that if any members have already booked a time in Leuven this September as part of a holiday abroad. Guido Latre is most willing to give time to showing the local sites.

I have been invited to give a lecture at Hartford University, Connecticut, USA, on 9th November 2000. We shall let American members have fuller details later on, but meanwhile they should note that Mary Clow is very generously arranging a Tyndale Society gathering in her New York apartment for the evening of Saturday 11th November. Invitations wilt be sent out later in the summer: it is hoped to show then the 1937 Rank Religious Films biography of William Tyndale. Once again our gratitude to Andrew Yodel of the British Film Institute for making this available for private viewing.

As members will know, though the annual Lambeth Tyndale Lectures will continue in the autumn on 2001 (when the lecturer will be the Bishop of Rochester, the Rt Rev. Dr Michael Nazir-Ali), the Millennium opening of Lambeth Palace to the public throughout this year, as part of the 'String of Pearls' initiative, has meant that the Palace cannot have us this year. Arrangements for an 'Instead-of-Lambeth' lecture are in hand. As there are many Tyndale Society events in the autumn of 2000, we are proposing to hold this in March 2001 at a Central London location. Details shortly.

It is hoped to follow the successful First North American Tyndale Conference in Toronto, held a year ago at the Tyndale College and Seminary, with another in May 2001.

It is also intended to hold another one-day Conference in Geneva around the time of Reformation Day, 2001, likely to be late October or early November.

After the GMTV broadcast on the 27th February last, I spoke both to Vicki Hackett and Bridget Foreman of the Riding lights Theatre Company, based in York. Riding Lights has a community branch called Roughshod, which takes short plays on social and religious topics into schools canteens or prisons during the day, with often an expanded version given locally in the evenings. Bridget Foreman, Artistic Associate of Riding Lights and Roughshod, who writes several play's for them livery year, is intending to write a full-length play about William Tyndale which will open in York in the early spring of 2001. We all look forward to this, and hope to make it the basis of new North of England expansion.

There are other initiatives to report. It is likely that a CD/cassette will be made this summer containing Christmas Carols and readings from Tyndale. We are intending to record this in the Chapel of Hertford College, but it is unclear whether the packaging will be finished in time for marketing for this Christmas. This first venture will probably have to be limited , for various legal reasons, for sale only to members of the Tyndale Society. A larger scheme has been proposed in America, in which a CD would be published of a reading of the whole of the Tyndale New Testament, probably by your Chairman. We shall keep everyone posted about this. A similar initiative, similarly sourced, will, it is hoped, bring to life again the ten excellent panels made for the British Library's Exhibition Let There Be Light in 1994. These panels, donated by the BL to the Society, went on to the Huntingdon Library in California and to the Library of Congress in Washington DC. They were seen at the first San Diego Conference two years ago, and went from there to Toronto. Thanks to some wonderful generosity, I believe that even as I write this they are on their way by air freight to Florida, where it is intended that they will make the basis of Bible exhibitions in North Florida, South Alabama and North Carolina, Again, we shall everyone posted about what happens.

Both the Ploughboy Group and the Trustees are enthusiastic to make available again the calligraphically-drawn greetings cards, of ten quotations from Tyndale's Old and New Testaments, which were so popular a year or so ago. Arrangements are now being made to produce fresh copies: enquiries should be made to Charlotte Dewhurst. She is also in the final stages of making an Information Pack which can be sent out to enquirers of every kind - the media, intending members and curious bystanders. The Ploughboys note with pleasure the increasing demand for local lectures on Tyndale which they are being asked to give, with or without the slide presentation. We are looking for someone who will act as - to use the modern political argon - a 'Lectures Czar', someone to whom we can direct all enquiries, who will then find a local speaker. Any member who would like to volunteer for this impressive title should contact Charlotte Dewhurst.

Last November, as Home Counties members will recall, the fine series of 'Poems in the Underground' included extracts from I Corinthians 13 in Tyndale's version, under the initiative of Sir Rowland Whitehead. The Society was able to buy a number of these beautiful posters, which measure 11x24 inches. Copies may be bought from the Secretary, at 1.50 plus p.& p.

We have in hand the re-making of our Society's website, to ensure that it is continually updated with news of coming events. I am quite often asked by North Americans who have heard of Tyndale about the genealogy of his family. It is proposed to make, as a link to our website, a monitored 'chat-room' devoted to the family history of the Tyndales and Hutchins. Finally, an initiative dear to my own heart is beginning to come to fruition. A complete Concordance to Tyndale's Old and New Testaments has been prepared, with great dedication as well as labour, by Dr Deborah Pollard. This is not only complete in electronic form, but Debs has made a fresh program for access (which she demonstrated at San Diego) making the whole vast undertaking instantly useable. The Officers of the Society feel that we should certainly pursue all suitable forms of electronic publication, but as well find a means of issuing it in book form. By no means everyone who is interested in Tyndale's Bibles has access to IT. Moreover, anyone who has done detailed work on a text knows the advantages of having the reference books open on the desk. Thus we are beginning to seek sponsorship at a fairly high level of funding, as a tightly-printed, two-thousand-page volume with a limited market is expensive to produce. Again, we shall keep everyone informed: but I must end this report, as I indeed began, by paying a special tribute to Debs Pollard for all the unostentatious work that, alone at her computer, she has put in to the making of this great Concordance -- a quiet, steady dedication which is surely appropriate for work on the translations of William Tyndale.

David Daniell

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