About Speaking Volumes

  1. Objectives
  2. About
  3. Trustees
  4. Book Selection
  5. Meet our experts
  1. 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).

  2. How we interpret that

    Speaking Volumes grants

    We give grants to community spaces which lend out books or DVDs - and to groups or individuals wanting to donate titles for those bookshelves. 

    We are also responsible for:

    • The Speaking Volumes Christian Book Awards which highlight great Christian books and reward good authors with useful publicity and prize money so they can continue writing great literature.
    • Other literary projects. We also consider funding applications for projects that meet with the objectives of the trust. Please contact the office for further details and an application form.

    Recent projects funded include: a Christmas booklet for Who Let the Dads Out?; Ethos Education; Mission Possible UK for Russian Bible teaching notes.

  3. 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

    Financial director of Andrews Estate Agency 

    Graham Hedges

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

    Alexandra McDonald

    Commercial Director at SPCK and chairperson of the Christian Suppliers Group.

    Eddie Olliffe

    Former bookseller, distributor and publisher. Now a consultant to the book trade and to Christian charities.

    Melanie Carroll

    Bookshop owner and vice-chair of the Booksellers Association's Christian Booksellers Group and editor of goodbookreviews.org.uk 

    Andy Robb

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

  4. 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