+44 (0)2392 699873 [email protected]
Your support makes all the difference Donate now

A Timeline of Our History

Origins

08/11/1779

The NMBS history began in 1779 when the Society was founded by George Cussons and John Davies, Lay Wesleyan Methodists.

Read more

The Society’s First Grant

01/01/1782

The Society grants several hundred Scriptures, at Rear Admiral Richard Kempenfelt’s request, to the crew of HMS Victory.

Read more

There’s Been a Mutiny

01/01/1787

HMS Bounty; One Bible’s Journey.

Read more

What’s in a Name…?

01/01/1804

1804: The Society cedes its name, ‘The Bible Society’ to a new Bible Society.

Read more

Friends, Presidents and a Patron of Note

01/01/1814

Over its 240 years history many prominent people have been connected with the Society, including William Wilberforce.

Read more

1815 – 1830

01/01/1815

Waterloo!

Wellington!

Napoleon!

 

Read more

1830 – 1853: Military Decline

01/01/1830

From a Waterloo/Crimean campaign high of an army of 220,000, from 1830 it had stabilised at 100,000 with about 46,000 stationed in the UK.

Read more

1 Million Bibles and a Few Wars!

01/01/1865

1,000,000 Bibles and Scriptures distributed, but in a background of multiple wars.

 

Read more

One Hundred Years Old!

01/01/1880

The 100th Anniversary Report, gave cause for thanksgiving as those present reflected how God had used the Society to enable thousands of copies of His Word to be placed in the hands of those who served their country.

Read more

Amalgamation!

01/01/1910

The Society amalgamates with the Scripture Gift Mission (Now SGM Lifewords).

Read more

A War to End All Wars

12/07/1914

The Society does not have a vested interest in war, but, wars tend to provide opportunities to any organisation that serves the HM Forces and the 1914 – 1918 war was no exception for NMBS where they delivered more Scriptures at any time before of after. This Gospel of St John was given to a majority of Service personnel.

Read more

A World at War – Again!

01/09/1939

King George VI, “To all serving in my Forces by sea, land or in the air and indeed to all my people engaged in the defence of the realm, I commend the reading of this Book. For centuries the Bible has been a wholesome and strengthening influence in our national life, and it behoves us in these momentous days to turn to renewed faith to Divine source of comfort and inspiration”. This message was printed in all the Society’s WW2 editions.

Read more

Post – WW2

02/09/1945

It would be easy to sit back after the efforts of WW2, but, the Society appointed a Travelling Secretary to make the Word of God available to the HM Forces.This Secretary duly, over the next 30 years, covered over a million miles.

Read more

1947 – National Service

01/01/1947

National Service represented an opportunity to introduce God’s Word to a new generation of ‘Servicemen’. Every 2 weeks, throughout the 17 years the initiative was in place, several hundred new entrants would enter the training establishment.

Read more

A New Name and New Opportunities

01/01/1961

After representation from Senior Officers in the RAF, the Society’s name was changed to the “Naval Military & Air Force Bible Society”.

Read more

The 70’s

16/09/2019

In the 70’s the Society expanded its efforts to support the various Missions working with Seafarers and Fishermen.

Read more

1980 – 2004

01/01/1980

In summary, cash flow low, demand still high! In 1982, the Falklands War was strongly supported with Bibles and New Testaments being given to Navy chaplains on-board HMS Hermes and the Hospital ships, and Army chaplains sailing with the Force.

Read more

A New Home

01/01/2008

The Society came out from under the wing of the Scripture Gift Mission and moved to its present location of the Royal Naval Benevolent Trust at Castaway House, Portsmouth.

Read more

Another Name Change!

01/01/2017

In 2017 as the Society looked to support the wider seafaring community and other uniformed personnel besides the military, the Society’s name reverted to the Naval & Military Bible Society, the ‘Naval’ portion covering all commercial shipping activities and the ‘Military’ element covering support to all Service and Uniformed personnel.

Read more

Free Bible Distribution

12/10/2018

Coinciding with the launch of this website, the Society now intends to offer its products for free.

“Pay it Forward” donations gladly accepted before, at or after ordering!

Read more

The Society continues to fulfil its mission statement distributing Bibles and booklets at home and abroad. However, it now aims to give its products away free of change operating solely relying on donations, sponsorship, grants and legacies. .

NMBS reports to the Charity Commission can be found here.  
NMBS reports to Companies House can be found here.  
The archived documents of NMBS are held in the British Library, what documents are held can be found here.