WOKING United Reformed Church is about to begin its most ambitious charity fundraising project ever, with a four-day Bible Read-athon to raise money for Christian Aid.

Members of the church will be reading the entire Bible out loud in a 24/7 non-stop livestream which begins on the evening of Wednesday 17 May and will likely end in the early hours of Sunday 21 May, with the aim of raising funds for Christian Aid Week.

The Read-athon can be followed live on Youtube and Facebook and will see hundreds of people reading from either the church building or from their own homes via webcam in half hour slots. Each participant will pick up where the last reader left off, with some of the night time hours filled by volunteers from the USA, Australia and other parts of the world.

"Two years ago we read through the entire New Testament in 24 hours for Christian Aid," said Revd Lucy Brierley, the minister of Woking United Reformed Church. "This time we are going even bigger – reading through the entire Bible.

"That means more than 800,000 words across the 66 books that make up the Old and New Testaments. But we aren’t expecting any single individual to complete this marathon, it will be more like a relay race with everybody taking a turn."

As part of the Read-athon there will also be a ‘Psalms Night’ at the church on the evening of Friday 19th May when many of the Biblical Psalms will be sung. Some of the church’s young people will also be sleeping over in the church to take shifts reading through the Bible overnight.

Members of the public are being invited to watch and sponsor the Read-athon via the church website www.wokingurc.org.uk. The volunteers hope to raise thousands of pounds for Christian Aid, with all proceeds going to support communities in Malawi affected by poor harvests due to a recent cyclone.

"We believe the Bible calls us to stand for justice and care for the poor," said Revd Brierley. "Our church has been supporting Christian Aid for many years. That's why we believe reading though the entire Bible and supporting Christian Aid is a match made in heaven!"

Watch live at the website from 9pm on 17 May. The Bible Read-athon will conclude on Sunday 21 May with an 'All Nations' celebration service at the church at 10.30am. To sponsor the Bible Read-athon www.wokingurc.org.uk