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Dr John Sentamu Hails 'Extraordinary' Book Sale

Monday May 16 2022

From left: the Rev Rosie Magee, minister of St Andrew's and St George's West; Lady Mary Davidson, book sale convener; Dr John Sentamu, chair of Christian Aid; Sally Foster Fulton, head of Christian Aid Scotland.

The chair of Christian Aid, Dr John Sentamu, has described the annual sale for the charity at St Andrew’s and St George’s West Church in Edinburgh as ‘incredible’.

The former Archbishop of York opened the Christian Aid Week sale, in its 50th year, on Saturday.

Dr Sentamu walked round the sale and chatted to volunteers including the sale convener, Lady Mary Davidson, before ringing the bell to officially begin the sale.

The Christian Aid week sale has grown from a single book stall in 1973 to one of the largest charity second hand events in the country, completely taking over the George Street Church and a large area outside. In addition to books it sells music, antiques and collectables.

“I think it’s extraordinary,” said Dr Sentamu, who took over as chair last winter. “It began when somebody said ‘what about selling books, that would be a good idea’ and Lady Mary has been running it now for 50 years.

“And you go into the church and every section is properly displayed so you’re not meandering like you do in some bookshops, you know exactly what is in every section. That kind of work is not an easy thing: to classify books requires a lot of skill, and all of these volunteers have been at it quite a while, and it’s a huge, huge amount of books and a lot of money.

"It’s incredible, incredible.”

During his visit to Edinburgh John Sentamu spoke on BBC Radio Scotland and preached at Broughton St Mary's Parish Church.

The sale runs until this Friday, May 20, from 10am-3.30pm each day, late opening until 7pm on Thursday.


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