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Christian Aid Sale Opens on Saturday

Thursday May 9 2019

Sale patron Kirsty Wark takes a look at one of this year's star items.


First editions from George Orwell and TS Eliot and a painting by Victoria Crowe are the star items in this year’s St Andrew’s and St George’s West Christian Aid sale, which opens on Saturday.

The Edinburgh sale has grown from small beginnings 48 years ago to become what is believed to be the biggest charity book sale in the UK, and one of the largest in the world.

This year’s patron, journalist and broadcaster Kirsty Wark, visited the church this morning (Thursday), speaking to the volunteers who are in the final stages of setting up the sale.

Ms Wark said: “Books fire the imagination and are also a great source of solace. I am so delighted to support the book sale and I hope the crowds rush in in search of a good read.”

Volunteers and experts in their hundreds from as far afield as the United States have been sorting and pricing 60,000 donated books and collectables. Buyers will be queuing from the early hours on Saturday.

Among the star attractions this year are first editions of George Orwell’s Animal Farm and 1984, and a signed, limited first edition of TS Eliot’s Dante. There is also a remarkable library of Scottish books donated to Christian Aid by the family of Margaret Street MBE, founder of the Leith Civic Trust, who died last year.

The renowned Scottish artist Victoria Crowe has also donated her painting ‘In Santa Trinita, Florence’.

The Very Rev Dr John Chalmers, Locum Minister at St Andrew’s and St George’s West Church, said: “I am in awe at the scale of the operation to organise this extraordinary book sale, but it is so much more than a book sale. This is an enterprise delivered by people who also want to change the world. Every penny raised is used by Christian Aid to feed the hungry and address the systemic causes of poverty in the developing world.

“When you come to this sale you will take home any number of good books, but you will also be doing untold good in the life of some of the most vulnerable people in the world.”

The sale opens at 10am on Saturday and runs throughout next week.

There are also Christian Aid book sales at Holy Corner and the City of Edinburgh Methodist Church – the latter including a series of speakers and events named ‘Edinburgh’s smallest book festival’.


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