IN HIS BOOK John Sentamu's Faith Stories: 20 true
stories of faith changing lives today (DLT, £8.99
(£8.10); 978-0-232-52978-4), the Archbishop of York has
chosen 20 Anglicans in his province who have an unusual success
story to tell. There is a careful mix of male, female, ordained,
lay, old, and young. Each upbeat tale, tightly written by Carmel
Thomason, is prefaced by a comment from the Archbishop.
He claims that the Church has been doing the Big Society for
2000 years; and one theme is how to make small but important
contributions to the greater good. Another message is that the pews
need not be empty. Lee Kirkby, a youth minister, regularly fills
Beverley Minster with fellow young people.
Malc Clark, a music ministry co-ordinator, is one of several
contributors who speak of Christians in the workplace as often
being on their own. His band is all Christian, but it is not, he
insists, a Christian band, as it plays on the secular music
Several people move outside church structures to take the
Christian message to the alienated, by both preaching and example.
"I don't always talk about my church or my faith, but I don't try
to hide it either," says Izzy McDonald Booth, who receives positive
reactions. Ben Norton is a priest who works one day a week in a
hairdressing salon, where he lets customers talk to him about
The chapter "Wrestling with God" tells the inspiring story of
Sam Foster, who, at 23, was the youngest woman to become a priest.
She had attended church only to please her mother, and, when being
considered for ordination, hoped to be blocked by her
The oldest person is 88-year-old Mary Butterwick, who, 30 years
ago, took the greatest risk by selling her house to found a
hospice. She knows that she is successful, because it now runs
Leigh Hatts Editor of In SE1, a South
Bank arts magazine