Scripture Union Cymru is SU’s Wales team. We are committed to to helping children and young people explore the Bible and respond to the significance of Jesus. Guardians of Ancora has been an immensely exciting tool for us in all sorts of mission settings. It has been thrilling to see children engaging with the app and getting excited about reading the Bible and knowing Jesus.
In Wales we have two official languages. English is spoken by the majority but Welsh is not a minor language within Wales. There are 562,000 Welsh speakers in Wales (roughly 20% of the population) and another 158,000 in the rest of the UK. Among 3 to 19-year-olds in Wales, however, there are 212,341 Welsh speakers: 35% of the age category!
Of these 104,393 are educated primarily through the Welsh language – equating to 24% of primary and 20% of secondary school places in Wales. Far from being a dying language, Welsh is actually having something of a resurgence. Many families that are not Welsh speakers are keen that their children learn the language and recover what, for many, is a significant part of their identity.
Because the Welsh language is so significant for us in Wales, it is vital that we engage with people in Welsh. We don’t want Jesus to be distant and foreign to Welsh speakers: we want them to be able to relate to him in the same way they would relate to their mother or father.
Having the app in Welsh will also make it a fantastic resource for schools. It is really key that resources offered to schools are available in both Welsh and English. Even in English-medium schools, there may well be children or young people who prefer to access resources in Welsh.
There are very few video games or apps available in the Welsh language. Because of this, we feel that this app will stand out and be useful both to native Welsh speakers and learners.
This is why we are actively pursuing a Welsh language version of Guardians of Ancora. It will go by the name Arwyr Ancora (literally ‘Heroes of Ancora’). We have over half the budget in place to make it happen and are hoping to launch Arwyr Ancora in the summer of 2017.
Please pray for our steering group and partners as we develop this. We are keen to work with the churches and organisations in Wales that share our heart to share Jesus with children and young people and are working hard to build a team across Wales. It is our sincere hope that churches and Christians in Wales will really take this project to heart and partner with us in the work.
If you would like to find out more about this project visit the Arwyr Ancora page on www.scriptureunioncymru.com
John Settatree is Scripture Union’s National Coordinator for Wales. He lives near Pwllheli in North Wales with his wife Rachel and his dog Scamp. He joined Scripture Union staff in April 2011. Before that, John was a youth worker with the Trobwynt associate trust based on the Llyn Peninsular. He is excited to be working with similar projects across Wales, both established and developing, that aim to reach their communities throughout the year. John has a long history of being part of Beach Mission teams in Pembrokeshire and Criccieth. He is passionate about seeing local missions develop that are relevant to and rooted in the communities they serve.
 2011 Census figures.