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Dave Hodgson - Mayor of Bedford Borough

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Progress made in promoting John Bunyan

November 4, 2019 1:14 PM

Pilgrims Progress is being shown at Vue in BedfordBedford has boosted national screenings of the Pilgrim's Progress movie by stepping up to support the animated film in the home town of author John Bunyan.

After a sponsored preview at Cineworld Aspects on October 21st which was a full-house, despite the short notice, Vue Riverside took up the option to show the film on the afternoon of November 2nd. It sold out within hours prompting the national chain to put on a Saturday Matinee on the same day which again sold out. A further screening was scheduled for Sunday Nov 3rd and more are now expected on Nov 9th and 10th.

Film distributor Stephen Briggs said: "We had tried to persuade both cinemas to screen the film on the date of the UK release of October 25th without success. So the Bunyan Round Table group stepped up to support the special preview and the response was so marvellous that the cinemas sat up to take notice."

More information about how to see the film outside of Bedford or buy copies of the movie on DVD is available on

Meanwhile locally, the name of John Bunyan and his world famous book The Pilgrim's Progress is being read in schools again thanks to the work of campaigner Ruth Broomhall. She produced a teaching tool kit and made it available to a primary schools. Others copies have been shared with community groups. Her website explains the global interest in John Bunyan - even in South Korea where there is a Pilgrim's Progress theme park.

The international interest in John Bunyan brings in 100s of visitors a year to the Borough. It is hoped the animated film can be used to ignite more excitement about Bunyan far and wide.

Mayor Dave Hodgson joined Ruth and representatives of the Bunyan Round Table on Saturday Nov 2nd.

Mayor Dave said: "I know Ruth and all the team are keen that Pilgrim's Progress should be read in schools and more widely generally - and I agree! We are proud of John Bunyan and Pilgrim's Progress in Bedford Borough and I believe this film will raise the profile of John Bunyan and could help increase interest in local tourism."