WORSHIPPERS from a Basildon church decided to do something spectacular to celebrate 400 years of the King James bible.

So they organised their own biblical epic – a 72-hour ‘Bible-thon’.

Church leaders, residents and school children have been taking part, reading every word, verse, chapter, book and testament from the King James Bible out loud.

The almighty act began at St Martin’s Church in Basildon last Wednesday morning and ended on Saturday, when the final word of the Book of Revelations “Amen” was read by a youngster from Woodlands School, in Basildon.

St Martin’s congregation member and one of the organisers, Peter Coddings, said: “This has been a community venture which includes leaders from all denominations through Church-es Together in Basildon.

“We’ve also had council members and residents taking part as well as youngsters from Woodlands School, who also made us some worderful works of art to display in the church as part of the event.

“We’ve split the reading up into 15 minute shifts though some people have been staying much longer in the pulpit to read aloud as they’ve enjoyed it so much.

“It’s been non-stop, even in the early hours of the morning, we have been carrying on with the reading. The project has been truly ecumenical, giving us the opportunity to revisit parts of the Bible we rarely read.”

This famous version of the bible was completed in 1611 after King James VI of Scotland was persuaded a new translation of the “good book” was needed.

Following its publication, the Bible was taken oversees on voyages by sailors all over the world, to the new colonies in Africa, Australia and New Zealand. That is one of the reasons why English is now a world language.