iPlayer Radio What's New?
On Now : Afternoon on 3
Proms 2014 Repeats - Prom 42: Lest We Forget
Image for The Gospels Come Home

Listen now 45 mins

Listen in pop-out player

The Gospels Come Home

45 minutes
First broadcast:
Sunday 16 June 2013

As the priceless Lindisfarne Gospels visit Durham for a major exhibition after four centuries' absence, multiple-award-winning author David Almond explores what they mean to his fellow North-Easterners.

At the heart of this programme are a sequence of lyrical, location-based "meditations", in which David reflects - in his inimitable style and voice - about the ways in which the Lindisfarne Gospels, and their creation on Lindisfarne during the Anglo-Saxon era, laid the foundations for what it means to be a North-Easterner today.

The Lindisfarne Gospels are one of the world's greatest books and among the most important works of European art of the first millenium. Created on the Holy Island of Lindisfarne around the year 700, they are normally housed in the British Library in London, but for three months this summer, the Gospels are returning to the North East for a major exhibition in Durham.

David Almond visits the British Library, Durham, Newcastle and Lindisfarne itself - a location he has adored since his boyhood - to explore the meaning of the Gospels to himself and to his fellow North-Easterners.

He talks with experts in early books and local people on the island to find out more about the making of the Gospels, the unique place they hold in terms of art, religion and literature, the long journeys they have made in the past and their "homecoming" this summer.

David Almond is a writer of short stories and adult fiction but is best known for his children's writing - above all, Skellig and My Name is Mina. Amongst other awards, he has won the Carnegie Medal, the Whitbread Children's Award, The Michael L.Prinz Award, the Guardian Children's Fiction Prize and and the Smarties Book Prize.

Producer Beaty Rubens

First broadcast in June 2013.

  • David Almond with St Mary's Church, Lindisfarne in the background

    David Almond St Mary's Church Lindisfarne

    On one of the two unexpectedly fine days when he recorded on the island for The Gospels Come Home. 

  • On the shores of Lindisfarne, with St Cuthbert's Island in the background

    After recording on the shore of Lindisfarne, with St Cuthbert's Island in the background
  • Portrait of St John the Evangelist in the Lindisfarne Gospels

    The Gospels Come Home
    Used with kind permission from The British Library
  • Digitised manuscripts at The British Library

    You can access all the British Library's digitised manuscripts, including The Lindisfarne Gospels, here: http://britishlibrary.typepad.co.uk/digitisedmanuscripts/

  • Blog post about the Lindisfarne Gospels and the St Cuthbert Gospel

    Julian Harrison has written a blog post about the manuscripts - you can read it here:



Discover Dylan Thomas

Dylan Thomas season

Explore the life, work and legacy of the Welsh poet on the centenary of his birth.


  1. Image for BBC World War One

    BBC World War One

    BBC Radio brings you stories of the war that changed who we are, with documentaries exploring the…

  2. Image for Music and Culture of WW1

    Music and Culture of WW1

    Highlights of BBC Radio 3’s special programmes to mark the WW1 centenary. Classical music, art,…

  3. Image for Ravel Revealed

    Ravel Revealed

    Maurice Ravel revealed through guides to his work and life. Ravel and Jazz, Ravel and literature,…

  4. Image for The Radio 3 Documentary

    The Radio 3 Documentary

    In-depth documentaries which each week explore a different aspect of history, science, philosophy,…

BBC © 2014 The BBC is not responsible for the content of external sites. Read more.

This page is best viewed in an up-to-date web browser with style sheets (CSS) enabled. While you will be able to view the content of this page in your current browser, you will not be able to get the full visual experience. Please consider upgrading your browser software or enabling style sheets (CSS) if you are able to do so.

Added. Check out your playlist Dismiss