Mary Jones – inspires us to treasure reading our Bibles
1784 – 1864
Born in December 1784 into a poor family to devout Calvinistic Methodists parents near the town of Dolgellau in Wales, Mary Jones professed the Christian faith at eight years of age. Having learned to read in the circulating schools organised by Thomas Charles, it became her burning desire to possess a Bible of her own. She was so determined to have a Bible in her own language, that she saved up for six long years. Until in 1800, at 15 years old, she trekked 26 long miles (42km) barefoot through the rugged terrain of north Wales to the town of Bala to buy her own Welsh Bible.
There she was helped by Rev. Thomas Charles, who arranged lodgings for her and sold her three Bibles for the price of one. And Mary Jones’ determination to have her own copy of God’s written word became the talk of the churches in the area.
Apparently, it was the lasting impression left upon Thomas Charles by Mary Jones’ longing to read her own Bible that compelled him to propose the formation of a new Society at a committee meeting of the Religious Tract Society on the 7th December 1802 – to supply Wales with Bibles. And this meeting set in motion the founding of the Bible Society as we know it today, which is currently working in 200 countries world-wide to bring people their own copy of the Bible – so treasured by Mary Jones.