The Bible is for everyone

Nonso Anozie, speaking at the Christian Resources Exhibition Midlands

Pages of scripture will be brought to life this December through the mini-series 'The Bible', airing on Channel 5.

The series was created by Emmy-nominated actress Roma Downey and five time winner Mark Burnett and has been hugely successful in the US, drawing a hundred million viewers and becoming the number one best-selling TV series on Blu-ray and DVD in the States earlier this year.

The Damaris Trust is working with Channel 5 and Twentieth Century Fox to create resources for 'The Bible' to encourage viewers to discuss its key themes.

"The Bible is for everyone, not just the church," says Nick Pollard, co-founder of Damaris.

"My vision is that in the UK we will reach everybody and that everybody will be talking."

Actor Nonso Anozie, who plays Samson in the series, is confident that it will appeal to a wide audience.

"In the spirit of shows that are really popular now, like Game of Thrones which gets an audience who love a bit of drama and action, I think it does that really well," he said.

After being offered the role of Samson, Anozie felt that he was "ordained" to be involved in the biblical drama.

"At the beginning of last year, I knew I was going to be in LA and New Orleans filming. I had a week before I was due to travel and decided to go to my family church in Hendon.

"My pastor often gives me things to read from the Bible. It just so happened that she gave me a section from Judges and it was the story of Samson to read out to the congregation."

He continued: "At the end of the job I got a phone call from my agent saying I've been offered a role in The Bible, a Bible series they are shooting in Morocco and it's Samson. For me at that moment it felt like God's hand was on it."

Some of the best performances on set, Anozie says, came from those who were not Christians.

"For me that says God will use everybody," he said. "I think it's a wonderful thing that even though people say they don't have any faith, they are still being used. I really felt when we were filming on set, the presence of God."

Pollard added: "Roma Downey told me one of the best things on set was seeing all these people who are not believers sitting down reading the Bible because they were trying to get their head round the part they were going to play."