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The Secret Library for Students of the Bible
Emma Coker

Biblical scholars might be interested to learn of a secret library hidden in St Nicolas’ Church, which is now open for their use. The cache of books was donated by a member of the congregation who had collected them for her PhD research before re-turning to her native USA. Churchwarden Andrew Coker explains, ‘Janice Curcio, whom many readers will remember, was studying for a PhD in biblical studies and purchased a vast collection of books which she was unable to take back to the US when her visa to stay in the UK ran out. Being a great supporter of our parish and St Nicolas in particular she decided to leave her library to the Church. The books are to be found in the clergy vestry, but not a lot of people know that!’ Should any reader want to take a look at the col-lection you should ask Jim Barker, the St Nic’s verger whilst he is in the church. He is there be-tween 10.15am and 12.30pm each weekday. The books may be loaned but only to known members of the parish. A photo ID and a signed form will suffice for Jim to release the book for limited home use. ‘We are very proud of this collection and want it to be used by the wider parish. Sadly, few people know it is there. If you are interested in perusing the collection please contact Jim and he will be delighted to show you. I am still in touch with Janice who has found a really important role in a church in Florida and often asks fondly after her old friends in Abingdon. Janice was a real ‘tour de force’ in our congregation and the moving force behind our revitalised monastic church garden inspired by Abingdon Abbey. We are most grateful for her library and would like to make it available to more people,’ enthused Andrew. See the on-line catalogue for details.