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Lat Blaylock, Editor, RE Today
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The Welsh girl who inspired the founding of The Bible Society
Who was Mary Jones?
Mary Jones (16 December 1784 – 28 December 1864) was a Welsh girl from Llanfihangel-y-Pennant, in North West Wales. Her father was a weaver, so she came from a relatively poor home. She desperately wanted her own Welsh Bible, so she saved for six years, then went on an epic walk to get one!
Why is Mary Jones Famous?
At the age of fifteen, she walked barefoot from her hometown to Bala to buy her Bible from Thomas Charles, a Welsh Methodist minister. The journey covered twenty-six miles in total, and ever since her story has been remembered by people around the world as an example of devotion to God.
Thomas was so moved by her devotion, he was inspired to form a new organisation in 1804: The Bible Society. It was set up to supply Wales with affordable Welsh Bibles. The founders believed that the Bible should be accessible to all. The Bible Society is still at work today, in Wales and across the world!
How is Mary Jones Remembered Today?
Mary has become a national icon, with her story celebrated and remembered across Wales. Today, the Mary Jones Walk can be undertaken by people, where each step of the journey marks a stop along the way of Mary Jones' original journey.
People travelling to her hometown, Llanfihangel-y-Pennant, will find the Mary Jones Monument, which commemorates her journey and the influence she has had on Welsh religious history.
You can find a Welsh language version of this resource here.