The sale for Christian Aid at St Andrew’s and St George’s West Church returns for its 49th year next weekend.

Merchandise will be focused on jigsaws, toys and games, and paperbacks (mainly crime fiction).  The sale continues as one of the longest running charity book sales in the country, although it will be much smaller than usual, to comply with the current Covid-19 guidelines so that visitors can select jigsaws and books more safely.

Celebrated writer and “tartan noir” superstar Val McDermid will visit the sale on Saturday 15 May, highlighting the Sale’s crime fiction, a genre that has been particularly popular over the past year.  

Frank Ross, The Rt Hon Lord Provost of The City of Edinburgh, will visit on the final day of the Sale on Tuesday 18 May.

Highlights among the wide range of jigsaw puzzles (many never opened) include “Pinks” by Charles Rennie Mackintosh and “The Fighting Temeraire” by JMW Turner.  For the experts, a jigsaw of flowers in a jug was abandoned by one of the Sale’s volunteer testers as “too difficult”. (Perseverance enabled the team to complete it later.)  Among the toys and games are “Buccaneer” (a vintage game by John Waddington), “Escape From Colditz”, and vintage Matchbox and Dublo vehicles, including a Matchbox No. 1 Steam Traction Engine. 

Devotees of crime fiction will find a wide selection, from the most recent popular authors to the era of vintage paperbacks in the livery of Penguin Books,  Collins Crime Club, Pan and the British Library Crime Classic Series.  Other genres are also included in the Sale, with titles from Virago and Persephone, non-fiction, poetry, and books for children and young adults 

This year’s May Sale starts on Saturday 15 May during Christian Aid Week and then continues on 17 and 18 May.

Mary Davidson, Sale Convener, said, “I hope that once again people will come to the church in George Street to help to raise money for Christian Aid’s work wherever there is suffering, disaster or famine to rebuild shattered lives.”

The May Sale will take place at: 

St Andrew’s and St George’s West Church 

13 George Street, Edinburgh  EH2 2PA

Dates: May 15, 17 and 18

Times: 10am to 4pm

The Undercroft Café will also be open each day of the Sale from 10:30am to 2pm.

The Christian Aid Sale at St Andrew’s and St George’s West Church is one of the largest charity book sales in the world.  Over the past 10 years, the Sale has raised more than £1 million for Christian Aid.  For the past decade in the autumn, a sale of pictures and Scottish books has been held in church.