Year of Mark's Gospel is ready to begin

By Eleanor Lalley, pastoral associate for Ainsdale

The Bishops' Conference and the Bible Society have launched the Year of Mark’s Gospel, which begins on Sunday 29 November. Mark’s is the oldest written gospel, dated some time between AD 60 and 70. Through the Gospel of Mark, God speaks to us today.

What does it have to say to us in our current Covid reality? How can we unlock the Gospel of Mark? On offer from the Bible Society are a variety of resources to celebrate the Year of Mark and to open up the Gospel for children and adults.

The Bible Society has produced special edition copies of the Gospel of Mark for study and reflection. There are also free Gospel of Mark posters for schools and parishes, available at A ‘Fish with Mark and discover your faith’ poster can be downloaded for schools and parishes, depicting the key highlights of this Gospel in a colourful and creative way. It offers a chance to follow the main narrative of the Gospel while diving in to fish out some of the key stories of Jesus interacting with the people He meets.

Also available for download is the free ‘Whistlestop Tour’ poster to assist your reading of the Gospel. It explains when the Gospel was written and for whom, the literary techniques, style and vocabulary, key themes and characters. Are you looking for a way to engage with Scripture this year in the parish? These wonderful resources can be used, for example, on a parish noticeboard or in the newsletter, and with small groups or online groups within the parish.

In the Archdiocese of Liverpool, the pastoral associates will engage with parishioners to study the passages highlighted by the ‘Fish with Mark’ poster on our diocesan website. Some people think the Bible is difficult to understand and best left to scripture professors, yet the Year of Mark is a good time to prove that anyone, from young children to adults, can engage with Scripture meaningfully.

During this Year of Mark, the pastoral associates working throughout the diocese will ask people to reflect on particular passages in Mark and then to record personal responses. These responses can be either short audio or video clips to get a conversation started in local churches and show Lectio Divina from real people in everyday life. The local resources will be posted ahead of the readings in the Lectionary throughout the year.

If you would like to be involved in this initiative personally or if your parish scripture group would like to join in, please contact either Kenny Lawler, pastoral associate for St Edmund of Canterbury and Our Lady Star of the Sea (07342827373/, or Jessy Noe, pastoral associate for Widnes (07470778560/ This is a perfect opportunity to engage those who read at Mass in reflection on the Gospels. We are looking for audio and video clips of no longer than two minutes.

Mark is the shortest and earliest Gospel and has its own personality, style, energy and themes. Mark presents a unique picture of Jesus: For Mark, Jesus is mysterious, and that’s very important to his way of telling the story. (From A Whistlestop Tour of Mark)

Throughout the Archdiocese, scripture-sharing groups continue their weekly studying of the Sunday readings together, often now online. New resources from the Bible Society and from our local website invite us to grapple prayerfully with God communicating through the Gospel of Mark and speaking to us today.