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Patron's Rare Book Highlight of Christian Aid Sale

Monday April 25 2022


A rare book by this year’s patron will be one of the highlights at this year’s Christian Aid Week Sale at St Andrew’s and St George’s West Church, Edinburgh.

The patron of the 2022 sale, the 50th at the church, is the writer Bernard MacLaverty, known for novels including Cal and Grace Notes, as well as seven acclaimed collections of short stories.

Launching the sale at the church in March, sale convener Mary Davidson told the congregation that she had had ‘a heart-stopping moment’ while sorting through some of the donated books.

“I came upon a little book… written 50 years ago by our 2022 patron Bernard MacLaverty when he was a young teacher in Islay… The book – for children – is charmingly illustrated by Bernard himself. It is a fable about a lonely man in search of a pet for company. He ends up with an elephant and is friendless no more, for everyone he meets stops to speak to him and his huge unusual pet.

“It occurs to me that our own story is somewhat parallel. In May 1973 two or three of us gathered here found ourselves offering for Christian Aid a few books, all classical texts. These were bought by the friends of the Scottish scholar whose library this was and we made about £300. In consequence, 50 years on, we have a sale of elephantine proportions, probably the largest charity book sale in the world.”

She added that Bernard MacLaverty’s book was now worth ‘at least £200’.

This year’s sale opens on Saturday May 14 and continues until Friday May 20 (except the Sunday). Dr John Sentamu, the former Archbishop of York and Chairman of Christian Aid’s Board of Trustees, will be present on the opening day.

The Holy Corner Book Sale, also for Christian Aid, takes place at Morningside United Church on May 14 and 15.  


May's Life and Work is out now! Buy in digital or print here.


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