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New book, John Sentamu’s Faith Stories, is launched
PEOPLE should stop moaning and looking for heroes and start being heroes themselves, the Archbishop of York has said.
Dr John Sentamu said the modern “me, me, me” culture was unhealthy and a threat to communities and called on people to live more caringly and lovingly, to bring about the change they wanted.
He was speaking as he launched a new book, John Sentamu’s Faith Stories, in which 20 people recount true first-hand stories of faith, conversion and compassion.
Contributors include a former soldier, a former journalist, a hospital chaplain, a teacher, a charity founder, a widow and church ministers.
Dr Sentamu said the contributors had insisted they were not special, but he said: “This book is about how we need to stop looking for heroes in our society and start being the heroes in our society. In this age of celebrity, we are always looking for celebrities, but actually every ordinary person as far as I am concerned are the real heroes and celebrities in our communities.”
He said: “There is such a thing as society, and we all have our small part to play in making things better. We are interdependent beings living in community. If we do not dare to contribute our talents to help the flourishing of the common good, who will? Stop moaning and start doing something positive.
“No matter what age you are, what gender, wherever you live, whatever your job, you can make this country a better place to live. We are all one body, but each of us is a different part. We each need to use our own individual skills and passions to serve others. That’s what this Faith Stories book is all about.”
The book was the brainchild of Matt Woodcock, who was a reporter for The Press, then worked for the Archbishop, before becoming a vicar in Hull.
•The book is published by Darton Longman and Todd, priced £8.99.
Amazing stories of faith and compassion
• Andy Grant was a soldier in Bosnia in 1994 when his army vehicle plunged down a steep hill. “I was certain I would die,” he says in the book – but he survived and today is a church curate in Boston Spa.
• Stuart Petty is lead Anglican Chaplain at York Hospital and says the hospital is like his parish. “Lots of lovely people have horrible things thrown at them and I’m always amazed at how well they hold their life together,” he says.
• Graeme Unwin also works at York Hospital as a consultant neurologist. He nearly died in the late 1990s when he had a tumour on his adrenal gland and today runs men’s health evenings in his spare time, helping others to stay healthy. He says his job is an enormous privilege. “People put so much faith and trust in you as an individual.”
• Richard Nihill is lay chaplain and religious education teacher at Archbishop Holgate School and every two years takes ten pupils to South Africa. He says his own faith solidified in his mid-teens and says the trips are amazing experiences for the teenagers.