I’ve been asked this question quite a lot recently, probably due to the radio silence at Bible Journalling UK. Sure, the shop on Etsy has still been running, the Facebook group still exists (and one faithful member has been consistently putting up her journal pages), but there have been no new study materials, no new videos on You Tube, and no social media posts from me!

The answer is simple: I’ve been leading a growing church, which as any church leader knows, is an all-consuming task! I’m so blessed to be there and God is doing some lovely things amongst us. It’s a journey of challenges, blessings and encouragements all mixed in together – a familiar pattern perhaps.

You sometimes hear people saying ‘The church is dying’. That’s not my experience at all!¬† Churches, like any other groups and organisations, go through life cycles, and when you are down at the bottom of the spiral, the only way is up. I can think of many churches in our Diocese that have had a hard time through Covid and beyond – my church is certainly one of them – but fast-forward to 2024 and the green shoots of growth are visible for all to see. Many of my clergy colleagues would say the same about their churches too.

Should we be surprised about this, that we see signs of church growth in what often gets called ‘such a secular age’? I don’t think so! There is still a deep seam of prayer and spirituality in communities up and down the country. There is still a hunger and thirst for God, and the depth and breadth of material in Scripture still excites, challenges and provokes debate as it always has done wherever it is read and studied.

So here at the beginning of 2024 I’m feeling inspired to do a bit more on the Bible journalling front. I see the need for it in my own life, let alone for anyone else – the need for colour and image as a way of connecting with God through Scripture, and time and space to relax and play in God’s presence. I can’t promise to get back to the same level of output that Bible Journalling UK was showing pre-pandemic (and pre my current role), and I can’t travel the country running workshops and retreats these days, but as a start, I do have some things in the pipeline: new material on the glorious Psalm 8 coming soon (finally!) and a retreat day for local churches in Edinburgh just before Holy week. If you want more information, email me.

Thanks to all of you who have remained interested in Bible Journalling UK – feel free to keep prodding me for more output!

With love and every blessing, Jane x

Where have you been for the last 3 years?

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