Category Archives: UK News

Strawberry Field

The Gideons International were recently privileged to be able to place Scriptures in the Prayer Space at The Salvation Army’s Strawberry Field centre in Liverpool. Originally the site of a children’s home, Strawberry Field has been owned and managed by The Salvation Army since the mid-1930s and it was a place where the young John Lennon, who lived nearby, would jump over the wall to enjoy the peace and sanctuary of the grounds – and company of the young people who lived there. The release of Strawberry Fields Forever prompted thousands of people from around the world to visit the site and its iconic red gates. Today, Strawberry Field plays host to a series of programmes aimed at those with learning difficulties or other barriers to employment.

Liverpudlian Gideon John Bordonero – himself a Beatles expert – presented 49 New Testaments and several full Bibles to Karen Carter, one of Strawberry Field’s Fresh Expression (spiritual wellbeing) team. The presentation basket was designed and provided by John’s wife Dawn.

Side note: The Beatles mentioned Gideon Bibles in their song ‘Rocky Raccoon’.

18,000 Youth Testaments Received

Today, the Gideons International in the British Isles received a gift of 18,000 copies of the New Testament and Psalms from the Gideons International in Switzerland. The pallets were so large and heavy that they could not be unloaded from the delivery vehicle intact and most of the boxes had to be removed by hand and wheel barrowed  to the storage area. These testaments are mainly destined for Year 7 students in schools across the UK. 

We thank God for the gift from our brothers in Switzerland and pray that the Lord will find a welcoming home for every single copy. 

A Request for a Young Offender

At Gideons International, here in the United Kingdom, we recently had contact from someone stating:

My son was recently in a young offender’s prison in Scotland. Whilst inside he found the Gideon Bible in his cell … and read it. He particularly enjoyed the “where to find help if…”

We are Christians but our son has never accepted Jesus as Saviour yet … he is constantly in trouble and makes wrong decisions .. Please could I buy a Gideon Bible  for him?

It is messages like this that are a real encouragement to us and we hope that it is an encouragement to you too – wherever you are in life.

The Gideons in the UK

13th October 2021

Dear Church Leader

You may have received a letter recently from “Good News for Everyone“. Some of their members were formerly part of the UK Gideon ministry. UK. The letter has caused some confusion which this article seeks to address.

For many years a small, but vocal, group within the Gideon Ministry in the UK had been pressing the leadership to change the membership criteria. They believed that a “men only” ministry was outdated and that admitting women as members would make them more attractive to churches and supporters and would reverse the declining membership. A 2014 survey of members’ opinion revealed that 79% were in favour of such a change. That small militant group took this as a vindication of their opinion and expected immediate change.

When that did not happen, a certain member sought to force the action by writing to the Charity Commission accusing the Gideon Ministry of being in contravention of the Equality Act.

The UK Gideons’ constitution required the permission of the international governing body (TGI) before such a change could be made. Permission was refused on the grounds that The Gideons International is a fellowship of professional and business men for mutual support in their Christian walk and in the placing of Scripture. The 300,000 or so men in over 200 countries adhere to exactly the same foundational values and constitution.

The UK leadership knew that by changing the constitution against the wishes of TGI that they would be expelled from the Gideon Ministry and would not be able to use the Gideon name which is protected as an international trademark. They signed an agreement in 1974. The relevant section is shown below.

The right and license [sic] herein granted may be cancelled and terminated on one year’s notice in writing given by either party hereto to the other party, provided, however, that such cancellation shall not release the party giving notice from fulfilment [sic] of any outstanding obligations existing as of the date of such notice, and provided further party of the second part hereby agrees to cease and desist from using the designation GIDEON and Design or any term or design confusingly similar thereto in any way, either as a designation for publications or services, or as a part of a corporate or firm name after one year from the date of such notice.”

It is true that, if challenged, a certain aspect of the membership criteria might be deemed to be in contravention of the Act although in the preceding five years no one, including the Charity Commission, had questioned it. None of the legal advice received categorically stated that the only option was to open membership to women and the Act itself makes it very clear that single gender associations are permitted. TGI were more than willing to allow adjustments to the constitution to comply with the law and had offered to underwrite any legal costs involved. The letter suggests that concerns about the Equality Act and the Charity Commission led to the decision to change the membership criteria. That is not true.

At the 2018 AGM a vote was passed to change the constitution in the full knowledge of the consequences. They failed to honour the above agreement, attempted to register the name GideonsUK with the UK Intellectual Property Office without informing the TGI of their intentions. They lost the inevitable legal case in November 2019 , received severe opprobrium from the judge and were required to pay substantial damages and costs. The UK association had dishonestly attempted to benefit from another’s reputation. Following that the name was changed to “Good News for Everyone”

In spite of the fact that their own actions have resulted the bulk of UK Gideons leaving the ministry they nevertheless attempted, as the letter makes clear, to prevent the Gideons International from continuing the ministry in the UK. Had they been successful the UK might have been be the only country in the free world without a Gideon Bible in a hotel room.

Not all Gideons accepted the 2018 AGM vote and were able to continue their Gideon membership directly with TGI. By God’s grace there are now Gideons in most parts of the UK and Northern Ireland and you may see some parallels with the story in the book of Judges. .

Whatever our personal views about membership we believe that we must accept the authority under which we placed ourselves and that schism and division amongst Christian men is certainly not the Lord’s will. If at some point in the future the worldwide ministry chooses to change its foundational values then we will accept that and in the meantime the Gideon Ministry in the UK continues.

John Coldwell
National Field Coordinator

Finding my old school testament

My name is Pamela and I want to share my gratitude for the small red Bible I received from Irvine Royal Academy.

I received my Bible from yourselves when I was 12, in my first year at secondary school around 20 years ago. I wrote my name in it and kept it by my bed, occasionally picking it up but never really knowing where to start. I had been raised a Christian and always had my faith but as I reached the age of becoming an adult, work, college and social life sadly got in the way.

In 2015 I had my third baby. This was to me a special gift as my husband and I hadn’t planned a third so our plans were stopped or redirected. I felt very lost in myself.

Through this time I was directed back to thinking about my family and their faith in God. I started praying and very much wanted to start reading the Bible to learn more about the faith I had been brought up with but wasn’t sure where any of my Bibles were.

One day during a clear out, I found the small red Bible I was given at school. I couldn’t believe it had made it through two house moves. That day I opened it and read the introduction then started with the 30 day readings. From that day I have read it every morning and sometimes more when I feel I need that extra time with God. It has answered many of my questions and has helped make things clear to me from the last 17 years.

The answers truly are in God’s Word.

Thank you for that gift to a small, quiet 12 year old who never knew until her 30s exactly the power that was put into her hands.


Receiving a Bible in HMP Wymott

The following letter arrived in the post this morning:

Dear Sir/Madam

I am a prisoner currently residing in HMP Wymott.

It’s almost a cliché about prisoners finding God in jail but He has been very patient with me and I have come to realise the love that Jesus has for every one of us, prisoner and saint alike.

I was in church last Sunday and was given a Gideon Bible by one of the Chaplains. On the inside of the Bible it says that I can write if I have been helped. This letter is a thank you for this wonderful gift of God’s Word. I find so much hope and inspiration in what Jesus did and His sacrifice for all of us.

So thank you for spreading the Word of God.

Yours sincerely


Changing My Life

We recently received the following email entitled ‘Changing My Life’:


I live in South Africa and last year my parents were on a trip in the UK just before Christmas. They were walking down the street when someone offered them both a little red pocket Bible.

My parents aren’t usually the kind of people to take things like this. Living in South Africa you know not to take anything that has been given to you on the street but for some reason or other my parents made the exception and even asked the lady if they could have three more, one for myself, my brother and my boyfriend. The lady, with a smile and without hesitation, handed them three more.

At first, this Bible was just something that was in my bag but as the year progressed I started reading it more and more until it became something very, very dear to me and that I couldn’t do without.

Although I have always been a Christian, my life has significantly changed since picking up this Bible and really starting to read it. Although I understand that it is God’s Word that has worked with me and in me and has spoken to me through this Bible, I just want to thank whoever it was in your organisation for their kindness. For giving away five Bibles to my family and enabling me to build and rebuild my relationship with my Saviour, Jesus Christ.

I pray that your organisation is blessed and that you will continue to change people’s lives and introduce them to the Word of God.

Thank you very very much.

Testimony from a 103 year old


This morning I decided to visit some friends who worship in St Clements Church in Neyland, Pembrokeshire.

As I sat by my friend Betty, a birthday card was handed to me to write a greeting in. I was told it was for Stan who will be 102 years old later this month.

After the service I was having a cup of tea and, seeing Stan in his best suit looking very smart, I decided to have a little chat with him. Stan looked familiar to me and I asked him if he had been present when The Gideons had given a presentation at the church just a couple of years ago. Stan replied that he had, and that he had later received a large print New Testament and Psalms from The Gideons as he now had trouble reading his small Gideon New Testament.

I had been at that presentation and I remembered meeting Stan after the service and he told me how he got that little New Testament. I was blessed that he repeated the story to me again that morning, so that I can share it with my Brothers and Sisters.

Many years ago, Stan’s son Terrence was seriously ill in Morriston Hospital. Whilst in hospital, Terrence was given a Gideon New Testament for his personal use. Sadly, Terrence passed away at the age of only twenty two and his father Stan received the little Testament and took it home.

I remember when we first met Stan and, with a small tear in the corner of his eye, he shared how he had read that Gideon New Testament every day, practically wearing it out. It had meant so much to him.

Later on, his vicar Rev Alan Chadwick, had emailed me to see if we might be able to provide a large print Gideon Testament for Stan, so that he might continue to enjoy God’s Word as his eyesight is now failing. Thankfully we were able to provide the largest size Testament that The Gideons have printed and I was able to drop it off for Stan.

I was told by Alan that the Testament had been very well received and was a great comfort to Stan as he passed the age of 100 years old.

So this morning, after realising who Stan was, I asked him how he was finding the large print Testament. “It’s the best thing I have ever been given” was Stan’s firm reply, wagging his finger as he said those words with a smile. “I keep it in the kitchen and read it after breakfast every day and it’s on the shelf for everyone to see!”

I don’t know who in the Swansea area gave Stan’s son, Terrence, that first Gideon New Testament whilst he was in Morriston Hospital, but I do know that it has been well loved and a great encouragement, especially to Stan. That little New Testament is still treasured by Stan but as he reaches 102 years young he is very, very grateful that the Gideons also do Testaments in large print!

We may never know where our Gideon New Testament and Bibles will end up, or whose lives they may touch on their journey…but God knows, and that’s good enough to encourage me and my Gideon friends to keep giving them out here in South West Wales.

Yours in Christ

Andrew Scadden, Pembrokeshire Branch of The Gideons

Coming back to the Lord

Dear all at Gideons,

My name is Neill Hudson. I am a 50 year old Christian who used to work for the Salvation Army. I had just got married, and like most young families we were finding things tough financially. I left the Salvation Army employment and as things became more difficult, the more hours I would work. Eventually I found myself working seven days a week just to keep our heads above water.

A few years came and went and I worked what seemed like incredibly long hours and saw less and less of my family and I missed them as much as I know they missed me. I became incredibly tired and eventually went to see the family doctor who took some blood for tests.

I went back to work and the following morning I received a phone call telling me I had late-onset type 1 diabetes. A diagnosis I was shocked but not particularly surprised by as all my family were diagnosed with the same condition. Anyway, I not only walked away from the Lord but I committed one of the worst sins I could, I led my family away from the Lord also.

On the 13 September 2017 I was admitted to Cheltenham General Hospital where I was operated on and had my left leg amputated below the knee. Today, Monday 18 September, I was sat in my wheelchair feeling sorry for myself, packing my belongings away in my locker when I found a New Testament and Psalms placed by The Gideons.

I let it fall open and you hear of people having these wonderful epiphanies but there it was! Psalm 46, “Be still, and know that I am God.”

What a foolish man I have been. I tried leading my family when all I needed to do was leave it with the Lord. I’ve done that tonight in my hospital bed. I rang my wife and we prayed together on the phone and we are going to go back to church.

Things are still quite tough but I am excited after rededicating my life to the Lord. Please feel free to use this witness statement because I will be telling everyone, not as my own glory, but the Lords.

Neill Hudson