Wycliffe Bible Translators – UK 50th Anniversary

I’m delighted to read the following press release from Wycliffe Bible Translators. Praise God for 50 years of faithful, Christ-exalting service. Do take the time to visit their website at www.wycliffe.org.uk

Wycliffe Bible Translators – UK 50th Anniversary

On 1st September 1960, 50 years ago today, Wycliffe Bible Translators was officially born in the UK.

The training of translators had been taking place in the UK since the early 50s, but 1960 was the year in which Wycliffe UK (named after John Wycliffe – an early Bible translator who wanted people to be able to learn about God in their own language) was formally recognised as part of this growing, world-wide family of translation organisations.

Back in 1960 the world population was estimated to be around 3 billion and the best guess was that there were about 1,000 languages that required a translation project of some kind.

Today the world population numbers close to 6.7 billion people with around 6,900 different languages in use. Currently Wycliffe, working in partnership with language communities and local organisations is involved in 1,300 Bible translation programmes while another 2,200 are waiting to start.

Over the 50 years, Wycliffe Bible Translators have had three different homes in the UK. They are now based on a 22 acre site just a few miles from High Wycombe in Buckinghamshire. Students from around the world still come to the centre every year for training, many of whom graduate with Masters degree qualifications awarded by the University of Middlesex.

In addition to the training, around 350 personnel are associated with the UK operation, most of whom are working overseas. Eddie Arthur, Executive Director of Wycliffe Bible Translators in the UK says, “It is amazing to think that so many leaders in the world Bible translation movement have been trained and equipped for their roles in this quiet little corner of Buckinghamshire.” A small number of personnel are UK-based and working in support roles such as IT, personnel, finance or communications.

Wycliffe Bible Translators, the UK’s biggest Bible translation organisation, works with partners worldwide to ensure that every community around the world has access to a Bible in a language that they can fully understand. In more than 70 years of history they have been involved in the translation of 759 New Testaments and Bibles, reaching over 107 million people. Since 1999, Wycliffe has contributed to over 80% of translation projects started in Bibleless people groups. However there remains a massive need, as statistics show that there are around 353 million people from 2,252 languages still waiting for translation to begin.


Andy Cheung teaches at King’s Evangelical Divinity School, a distance education Bible college and Seminary in the UK.

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