THE Archbishop of York's book John Sentamu's Hope
Stories: 20 true stories of faith changing lives today
(DLT, £8.99 (£8.10); 978-0-232-53109-1) follows
his successful Faith Stories, published last year (Books,
5 July 2013). Again, Dr Sentamu has chosen 20 people, but this time
not everyone is Anglican. One person even admits to not going to
church every week.
Carmel Thomason tells personal stories from a careful mix of
male, female, ordained, lay, old, and young. The tales of the
facing of difficult problems are easy to read alongside the
Archbishop's introduction to each chapter.
There are recurring themes such as overcoming cancer and voicing
the belief that God will provide. A graduate, Jenna Gill, gives up
the idea of earning "mega bucks" to found a charity giving
disadvantaged young people the opportunity to work as a volunteer
for projects in Kenya. Andy Roberts also has little money, but
starts a charity in Brazil to help girls who are being forced into
prostitution at age 12.
Impressive love and sacrifice are shown by congregations
prepared to help solve a debt crisis or set up a homeless person in
a flat. Sentamu says that prayer, shown here in home, church, and
Walsingham, can be a springboard. Elizabeth Pepper, who nursed her
husband, says that sometimes "the answer to prayer lies within
ourselves, in something we can do".