A VICAR and his wife have featured in a book written by the Archbishop of York, John Sentamu, who has praised them for their community work.
Rev David Tomlinson and Davina Tomlinson lived with an open home in Scotland for nine years helping those in need before moving to Shildon.
The couple now run food aid projects in the town, as well as a credit union, a drug and alcohol drop-in session and community gardens.
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They are also active foster carers and have fostered more than sixty children together.
The Archbishop of York’s latest book, Agape Love Stories, features 22 people, including Rev David Tomlinson and Mrs Tomlinson and focuses on how they have helped to change people’s lives.
Rev Tomlinson, of St John’s Parish Church, Shildon, said: “Our life has been an adventure in faith. Davina and I have sought to live what we believe, and part of our journey is sharing who we are with others.
“As an expression of our faith Davina and I lived for years with an open home.
“You could say we became foster carers by default, because for us it wasn’t so much that we said ‘let’s become foster carers’, as we thought there are some folk here who need support, encouragement and care and we can provide that.”
Archbishop Sentamu said: “These remarkable stories show us the Holy Spirit at work and how real transformation is made possible.
“When we know God’s self-giving love for us, we are on a journey to walk the way of Christ Jesus and become love to others.
“Life isn’t simple but loving help makes all the difference”.
Rev Tomlinson, who was invited to York to help launch the Archbishop’s book with Mrs Tomlinson, added: “Our home is wholly Christian in so far as we start and end the day with prayer, but people staying with us are always free to join in or not join in.
“We share our faith in the way we live as much as anything else.”
Video summaries of each of the 22 chapters featured in the book can be viewed at archbishopofyork.org and Archbishop Sentamu’s Agape Love Stories is available to buy now.