Who we are

At the beach

Scripture Union began with a man called Josiah Spiers from Islington, London. He was concerned that children should hear the message about Jesus and how much God loved them. He invited a few children to the home of his friend, the artist Thomas Hughes. Josiah Spiers sang with them, told them stories of Jesus. And all of this was happening in a lively, informal way, so very different from the boring sermons the children were going through in the Sunday Schools they attended. 

No wonder the children came back the following week, bringing their friends. The numbers of children kept on growing. After five months they needed a larger auditorium and rented it. On December 8, 1867 the Children´s Special Service Mission opened at a school house in Islington with sixty-five children.

Some time later Josiah Spiers went on holidays to the beach. He noticed some children hanging around and wondered what he could do for them. So he began by writing “God is Love” in the sand. As children gathered around, he encouraged them to decorate the letters with shells and seaweed and told them stories about Jesus.

Today, Scripture Union is a global movement in about 140 countries around the world and is still working to introduce children and young people to Jesus. Although the gospel never changes, each culture expresses it in a particular way and so the work is carried out through local people in ways which are appropriate to the country, culture and situation in which a movement is based. This includes running camps, school seminars and student groups or producing resources for Bible reading,  family counselling, AIDS education or working with poor and marginalized children.

Scripture Union is an autonomous organistion in each country, organized in regions and linked together by Scripture Union International. It is primarily a volunteer organisation with a small number of full-time staff  training, encouraging and coordinating ministry workers around the world.