Mere Anglicanism

Archbishop Sentamu launches ‘Hope Stories’

‘The chances and circumstances of life are different for everyone but we should remember that God loves us for who we are, as well as who we might become or have been.’ — Dr John Sentamu, Archbishop of York

20 ordinary people describe how they reached their lowest ebb and how – through their own faith or the faith of those around them – they were given hope in the midst of despair to rebuild their lives.

In this inspiring book – a companion to his bestselling Faith Stories  (DLT, 2013) – Dr John Sentamu introduces the stories of 20 individuals who have gone through difficult times, including terminal illness or life-changing injuries, bereavement, suicide attempts, debt, rejection by their family, and addictions to drink and to drugs. They explain how their Christian faith – often only discovered or rediscovered in the very midst of their despair – has given them new hope and the strength to turn their lives around. As Jim Wallis of Sojourners says, ‘Hope means believing in spite of the evidence – and watching the evidence change.’

These moving stories – with accompanying videos at http://www.archbishopofyork.org/pages/hope-stories-2014.html – include…

Jasvinder – cast out and shamed by her family after she refused an arranged marriage. She has now set up a charity, Karma Nirvana, which has helped 30,000 women so far to speak out about their experiences of forced marriage.

Nick – paralysed in a rugby accident at the age of 16. Subsequently he became a Christian, got married and is now ordained as a priest.

‘My life is not what I imagined as a boy, but it is a full life, and while many of my earlier hopes have been smashed to pieces, others have exceeded my wildest dreams.’

Kelly – a series of bereavements left Kelly at an all-time low. One day she opened up to her vicar and started going to church where she made a host of new friends – including her now fiancé!

‘Life was dark and sad, and I had no hope of it ever changing for me… Now I can’t stop smiling… I still take life one day at a time but the difference is now I can see a future.’

Luke – a church leader and father of two young children, Luke’s cancer diagnosis at the age of 33 was a huge shock. But, drawing on his faith, he has discovered a new appreciation of life, ‘living with love at the heart of everything I do.’

Dr Sentamu has written a personal introduction to each story and to the book overall. The book also features photographs of each subject. It is a life-affirming collection of real life people who have faced countless challenges, disappointments and set backs in life – but whose stories illustrate vividly the transformative power of faith to turn lives around for the better.

ABOUT THE AUTHOR:

Dr John Sentamu is the Archbishop of York, and was previously Bishop for Birmingham and Bishop of Stepney.  He is the author of John Sentamu’s Faith Stories (DLT, 2013).

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