The Sale of Pictures to raise funds for Christian Aid will take place in October.

Sadly, the May sale at St Andrew’s and St George’s West Church had to be cancelled owing to coronavirus, and for a while it looked as though the October event would also be a casualty of Covid-19.

Convener, Lady Mary Davidson, said: “This would have been so disappointing as we raised £14,000 for Christian Aid at the 2019 October Sale. But thanks to great support from the Kirk Session of St Andrew’s and St George’s West Church, preparations are now in hand to provide a safe and welcoming sale to which we can all look forward. It will be different this year. There will be a new system of display as we cannot use the pews and chairs. There will be a circulation route, volunteers to help guide visitors and masks and hand sanitisers. All this, of course to make it easy and pleasant to browse and buy.

“We have been promised new paintings to sell and can still accept donations of a work of art. I hardly need to add that in this worrying time the needs of the world’s poor are greater than ever.”

Last year the organisers raised £105,000 to Christian Aid and in total over the last decade over £1 million has been raised for the charity. It had humble beginnings in 1973 when someone brought a car full of books to the George Street church and offered them for sale. A table was hastily set up and the sale raised £600. Since then 200 tables are generally required and many helpers.In 2019 the anonymous donation of the first Englist Edition (1601) of the Theatrum Orbis Terrarum by Abraham Ortelius the Flemish cartographer raised £5,000 alone when it was bought by Edinburgh University Library. The history of the copy donated to the sale (one of only eleven known in the world, and how it came to be in Scotland is still a mystery to the organisers. It is now preserved professionally and will be made available to scholars.

The sale is reckoned to be the biggest charity book sale in the world and is the largest single volunteer led fundraising event for Christian Aid in the UK.

The Sale of Pictures has become an increasingly important part of the fundraising activities, and many of the pictures are donated by Scottish artists.

If you have something to donate then email for instructions on how to deliver it to the organisers.

Another way to raise funds for Christian Aid is to take a look at the catalogue of books which would have been on sale in May and reserve a book or two there. The books can be paid for and collected at the church during the Picture Sale.

Helen Bellany, wife of the reknown Scottish artist John Bellany, with the painting ‘Star of Hope’. This was the first time the painting, which depicts Fraserburgh harbour, was put up for sale and it was the ‘star’ attraction in the 2018 Christian Aid Autumn Art Sale
FREE TO USE 15.10.19 Edinburgh. Author Alexander McCall Smith with an original illustration by Iain McIntosh from The No 1 Ladies’ Detective Agency plus a signed first and limited edition of the book, signed by both Iain and Alexander. They were on sale at the Christian Aid annual Art and Scottish Book Sale taking place at St Andrew’s and St George’s West Church, George St,in 2019