This article is written by Fiona Stewart.
Fiona works as the Creative Director of Foolproof Creative Arts. She is a writer, director and radio contributor, and is the host of The Outspoken Bible, a podcast brought to you by the Bible 2020 team at SBS.

The best-laid plans…

Tasked with putting together a suite of creative resources for individuals and churches to use alongside the Bible 2020 app, there were some obvious suggestions. A theatre show for the Edinburgh Fringe was a given, a touring workshop for churches and SBS action groups to help people engage with the words of Scripture seemed obvious, and an outdoor community nativity trail sounded fun. And then there was another thought – a last-minute, serendipitous extra idea.

Maybe we could launch a podcast? People like podcasts. They listen to them on their journeys to work or while they’re doing the housework. Interest in audio content is exploding as technology improves. Why don’t we give it a go? So, the decision was made to produce a podcast, something that would whet people’s appetite for engaging with the app and become a means of communicating to a new audience.

That was in 2019 BC (Before Covid). None of us had any idea what lay ahead in the springtime. God knew, though, and what we dreamed up as an added extra to a suite of live, in-person events suddenly took on fresh importance. With people trapped in lockdown and waves of fear, uncertainty and grief buffeting every corner of the nation, the provision of good quality online content has never been more important. Where live events, workshops and performances are no longer possible, a podcast can become a lifeline for people trying to make sense of the new reality, and to ground reflection and comment in the truth of God’s Word.

Good conversations about Good News

The Outspoken Bible is a frank conversation amongst three Bible-reading friends. I have known Jen Robertson and Neil Glover for a number of years. Neil is the widely-read and thoughtful minister of Aberfeldy Parish Church and Jen works for SBS as the Children’s Resource Manager and has studied faith development in children and teenagers. I am an actor and writer, and have contributed to religious output on BBC Radio.

All three of us are talkative, which helps, but all three are also prepared to be vulnerable and truthful about our struggles, encouragements and experience of engaging with an ancient text that is also the living Word of God. Most importantly though, we all share a great love for the Bible and we love to talk about it!

Ok, so what next?

The plan for The Outspoken Bible podcast is to continue producing thoughtful, practical discussion rooted in the personal experience of all three presenters over the coming months. Sessions are recorded from home, produced and published by SBS and available from all the usual podcast providers or on the Outspoken Bible webpage.

Episodes will be released regularly, and our hope and prayer is that they prove an essential resource to keep people rooted in the Bible in this turbulent time.

You can find out more on The Outspoken Bible webpage, or listen to the latest episode below.

Listen to the Outspoken Bible podcast on Spotify
Listen to the Outspoken Bible on Apple Podcasts