In 1800, Mary Jones, then aged about 15, set out to walk from her home in Llanfihangel-y-Pennant across the mountains to Bala. She had been saving up to buy her own copy of the Bible in Welsh, and it took her 6 years to save enough money from the little jobs she was able to do.
She had known and loved the Lord Jesus from an early age, and had learnt to read the Bible used in the church but wanted her own and had heard that the Revd Charles Thomas in Bala had some for sale. Too poor to afford shoes, Mary walked barefoot for 26 miles, delighted to be able to possess a Bible of her own and in her own language.
Charles Thomas, a great preacher and leader of the 18th Century Welsh Revival, was amazed at this young girl’s desire and determination. He decided to do all he could to ensure that the Bible was available easily to everyone in Wales. “If in Wales, why not all the Kingdom; and if the Kingdom, why not in all the world?” Cried his friend; and their actions led in 1804 to the formation of what was then known as The British and Foreign Bible Society.