About Speaking Volumes

Our trustees (from left to right): Andy Robb, Melanie Carroll, Nick Wright, Geoff Booker and Nicki Copeland.

  1. Objectives
  2. About
  3. Trustees
  4. Book Selection
  5. Meet our experts
  1. How we are funded

    Our founder endowed the trust with a 15% shareholding in Andrews Estate Agency, which he also founded, and is wholly owned by charity. We still have strong ties with Andrews and our sister charity Andrews Charitable Trust.


    This funding underpins our core cost so that any fundraising we do goes directly to making grants available.

  2. The objectives of the trust

    Our founder was Cecil Jackson Cole, a philanthropist who helped set up great charities such as Oxfam, Help the Aged and Action Aid in the 1960s.


    When his wife died he discovered there was little Christian literature to help him through his bereavement.  So he created the Christian Book Promotion Trust to help others. He endowed the trust with a 15% shareholding in Andrews Estate Agency. Here are his original objectives:

    1. The advancement of the Christian religion and of the Christian injunctions by the issue of literature including books and the promotion of existing books.

    2. In Particular the Trustees shall in the first place devote income to ensuring the greater distribution and popularisation in the U.K. or overseas of successful books already in existence meeting specific needs as follows:

      1. For children which include a record of some of the achievements of the Christian religion e.g. the first free education for poor people: the establishment of Hospitals; The establishment of Oxfam and other charities which were inspired by Christianity.

      2. Concentrating on the Christian experience of conversion and the way to God, Eternal life, prayer and Christian healing.

      3. To help the bereaved particularly by the assurance of eternal life e.g.Canon Patterson Smyth's "Gospel of the Hereafter"......or such other books that come to replace this book in popularity.

    The next priority shall be a list of new books from a list agreed with the Settler during his life and/or stated by him in his last will for publication, promotion and re-issue at the Trustees discretion, bearing in mind that the sole object is to promote the Christian religion among those who are best placed to receive the call and to pass it on and to help individual people in their own needs.

    CBPT is a registered charity (no. 255001).


    Read our latest impact report.

  3. How we interpret that

    Speaking Volumes grants

    We give grants to libraries and schools of all types to purchase Christian books and DVDs for borrowing. This can be both in the UK and abroad. Grants range from £100 to £1000 depending on the type of library. We have selected books on our list on the basis that they will be interesting and useful to borrowers even if they have no prior knowledge of the Christian faith. 


    We are no longer able to offer other grants to literature projects as demand for the Speaking Volumes grants is now very high. However, past projects we've funded include: a Christmas booklet for Who Let the Dads Out?; Ethos Education; Mission Possible UK for Russian Bible teaching notes.

  4. The trustees

    Trustees of CBPT come from publishing, library management and business backgrounds. We are committed to being interdenominational and independent of any church organisation, publisher or other body.

    Geoff Booker Chairman

    Former publisher, publishing consultant and copyright licensing executive. Founder of The Quicken Trust.

    Nick Wright Treasurer

    Former Financial director of Andrews Estate Agency 

    Melanie Carroll

    Bookshop owner and manager. Street Pastors Co-ordinator, Lincoln.

    Andy Robb

    Pastor of Revival Church, Billericay and award winning children’s illustrator and writer.

    Nicki Copeland

    Freelance writer, speaker, copy editor and proofreader. Responsible for the day-to-day running of Instant Apostle publishers.


    Graham Hedges

    We are profoundly sad that Graham, a trustee of many years, passed away in 2020. He was

    Secretary of the Christians in Library and Information Services and a former public librarian.

  5. How we select books & DVDs

    We spend a long time researching many books and DVDs to ensure that the final selections are interesting, relevant, attractive and readable to anyone regardless of their understanding of the Christian faith.

    We have a panel of dedicated experts who evaluate the books and DVDs thoroughly. Being independent and not representing any one theological stance means we enjoy huge support from many publishers, authors and distributors who send us books at no cost for the experts to assess.

    Apply for a grant