What’s New
from Torch Trust

The accessible Christian reading and services magazine from Torch Trust.

2020 – Issue 2

Views expressed in the features are not necessarily those of Torch Trust. What’s New from Torch Trust is available in the following formats: email, DAISY and audio CD, braille, and large print (17, 20, 25 and 30 point). It can also be viewed on the Torch website.



Be strong and courageous. Do not be afraid or terrified because of them, for the Lord your God goes with you; he will never leave you nor forsake you. (Deuteronomy 31:6)

Dear Friends,

At this difficult time in our country and across the world I would like to echo these words from the Bible – be strong.

We at Torch will carry on doing what we can for you. We feel privileged to be able to come into your lives and homes bringing words of hope from God through literature. As I write I do not know what the future will look like for us all but I am confident that God will not leave us or forsake us at this time.

You tell us that books are a great comfort to you. I remember when I first started working for Torch in the Library, there was one lady who rang every week with her list of books. The interesting thing was that she had read the same books over and over again. I did try and encourage to try something different but she always went back to her old favourites. They were her friends and acquaintances. She knew what was going to happen and this made her feel secure.

Can I introduce you to some new friends?

This edition of our magazine has a special feature on fiction books.

Reading for pleasure is one of my hobbies and I would not go on holiday without my Kindle (other electronic readers are available). I also enjoy listening to audio books on long car journeys alongside my husband. There are advantages to this, one is that we can share the book together and two we don’t have to talk to each other!

The fiction books from Torch are Christian and we are pleased to be able to offer this service to our clients alongside our catalogue of study books.

I encourage you to have a look at some of the fiction range we have available to purchase and borrow which are mentioned in this magazine.

The audio books we have are read by a team of volunteers and we are so grateful for the time they devote to this for the benefit of our clients.

I am wondering how many of you will be listening to this magazine rather than reading it in large print or Braille? If so, I hope you will notice something different this time; the book catalogue part of this magazine is being read using text-to-speech technology (TTS) instead of a human voice. Using TTS we can produce an audio book very quickly so bear that in mind if you’d like a book within a few weeks instead of months. I am sure this would be especially helpful if you needed a book for study purposes.

For those of you who are not listening to this magazine and would like to have a sample disc of TTS then do please call our Client Services Team. They will be happy to send one to you.

So if you are looking to try something different, be introduced to a new author or just occupy some time then do please let Torch help you find the right book.

Every Blessing,

Rose, Services Lead

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Transcription requests

Torch Trust is pleased to offer a transcription service for our clients.

So what do we mean by transcription? How can it be of use for you?

Transcription is the service of reproducing standard printed material into the accessible formats of large print, braille and audio. Torch has a large catalogue of books that have already been transcribed into other formats and we continue to add to this. In this magazine we will let you know the new books we have available to buy and some of these will also go into our free lending library.

Please do ask if there is a book you would like to read and we can check if we have already produced it. If we have not done the book ourselves we can check if it is available from other sources or if Torch is able to transcribe it for you. There are many things to take into consideration before we transcribe a book, for instance we do not do self-published books. We also have a recognised list of publishers who we partner with.

We can also do Special Occasion items that will enable people with sight loss to enjoy Christian events, such as:

So how much does our transcription cost?

Each book Torch produces in braille, large print or audio costs over £500 to create, produce and dispatch. However, we believe that people with sight loss have an equal and valuable part to play in church and Christian communities and we are committed to offering Christian literature at the same price that a sighted person would pay. So, for example, if the print book costs £6.99 then a Braille or audio version from Torch will also cost £6.99.

For your Special Occasion items (which are restricted to 1000 words) we ask for a donation of at least £25 toward the cost. Please do remember to give us plenty of time to get this done for you. At least a few weeks would be helpful.

Please do call Client Services if you would like to know more about our transcription service.

I am now going to introduce you to the Transcription Manager, David Shepherd, who wants to encourage you to read more.

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Reading for pleasure

By David Shepherd, Transcription Manager

There’s nothing better than sitting in a comfy chair with a cup of coffee, a plate of chocolate digestives and a good novel to read. Well, for me at least, it may be different for you!

I got the reading bug almost as soon as I could read and I visited the children’s library as often as possible to satisfy my voracious need for more books to consume. I once took out four books from the library, and read and returned them the same day – only to be told that I had broken the system and that I would have to wait until the next day to bring them back!

My reading material then, as it is now, was mainly fiction. My favourites were Biggles, Just William, the Jennings and Derbyshire books, The Famous Five, The Secret Seven and Lone Pine series, Billy Bunter and The Hardy Boys. Mind you, I’m not too sure about the literary merits of some of those now.

Of course, my reading habits have changed over the years and the books are definitely longer; I’m currently reading Tombland, a 900 page monster by C J Sansom, which I suspect might take longer than a day to read!

Although I still prefer fiction, I also dip my toes into biographies and light Christian books. Sorry, but I don’t have the staying power for three volumes on one verse in Romans.

The genres that satisfy me most are crime and mystery – I love the gritty real world settings and underlying sense of good fighting evil. I revel in the fact that there are things that don’t always make perfect sense and that not everything has a perfect ending.

Unfortunately, in the past some Christian fiction tended to be set in a too-good-to-be-true world where everything always ended well. They were sometimes preachy, often involved people being converted and some were even badly written or edited.

I used to find it hard to read these books because they didn’t seem to reflect the world that I lived in and the life challenges and difficulties that I was going through. (Note: there where exceptions such as the excellent novels by Stephen Lawhead.)

Fortunately, things have changed and are changing. Publishers like Hodder, Lion Hudson, Instant Apostle, Authentic, Inspire (Harper Collins), Marylebone House (SPCK) and others are now producing well-written fiction by talented authors.

The genres include romance, contemporary, crime, mystery, science fiction, fantasy, thriller, suspense, historical fiction, and biblically inspired fiction. Something for everyone; all written by Christians and with an underlying Christian ethos.

The Christian element is there but not usually so overt and the result is good wholesome fiction for the ‘crossover’ market that can be enjoyed by both Christian and secular readers.

This edition of What’s New features some of the very latest fiction from Christian publishers. In addition, we already have over 150 novels for sale and over 400 available from our free lending library.

So, if the time has come for you to sit down in your comfy chair with your biscuits, coffee or tea and experience the pleasure of a good novel, we probably have just the book for you. To make an order or if you need any help in choosing a book, please call 01858 438260 and one of our friendly Client Services team will be glad to help.

Have fun reading!

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Library book issues

Many of our clients receive their Torch audio library books on USB memory sticks. If this applies to you then please can I give you some advice about their delivery.

Since we had to renew our supply of pouches we have been sending the USB sticks to you in pouches that are closed by Velcro type fasteners. Please press these fasteners firmly until you feel them fuse together and then the pouch is closed. If closed correctly the pouch can be safely put in the post to be returned to Torch. There is no need to put any extra tape on the pouch.

Your address is printed on a card which is inserted in a see-through window on one side of the pouch. When you return the pouch to Torch take out the card which can be thrown away or put inside the pouch with the USB stick. The Torch address is permanently printed on the pouch so it should get back to us safely.

Bible reading notes continue to be sent to you in zipped or Velcro pouches.

We continue to be blessed by the Post Office for their excellent service, all of which is free of charge when using ‘Articles for the Blind’. The Articles for the Blind scheme allows blind and partially sighted people to send certain items of post free of charge. Torch as an organisation working with blind and partially sighted people makes full use of the scheme. Our postman collects many bags of mail from our offices Monday to Thursday.

I hope this information is helpful for you.

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Bible Reading Notes

One of Torch’s areas of ministry is to provide Bible reading notes in the best format for our blind and visually impaired clients

Currently we produce:

Although we do not charge a subscription fee for the notes, in order to help cover the costs of production we suggest an annual donation of £17 which is about the cost of the print subscription.

The Client Services Team are always happy to share with you the range of Bible reading notes we offer in accessible media. It is encouraging that so many of you already use this service from Torch. In the last magazine there was a focus on Every Day with Jesus from CWR. This time I will tell you more about Scripture Union who produce notes called Daily Bread.

Focus on Scripture Union Daily Bread

In June 1867 Josiah Spiers spoke to 15 children in a drawing room in Islington, London, pioneering a new approach to sharing Jesus with children.

These meetings grew rapidly and soon the Children’s Special Service Mission was formed, later becoming Scripture Union. The following year, Spiers went on holiday to Llandudno in North Wales and spontaneously held a children’s meeting on the beach. He wrote ‘God is love’ in the sand, and this simple but compelling message attracted the attention of local young people. Through games and stories Josiah Spiers empowered his young audience to engage with Jesus.

Through involvement in their activities, Josiah Spiers positioned himself where he could share the good news with the young people just where they were. Fast forward 150 years and the beaches may have been replaced by Instagram, YouTube and the sports field, but the mission and message of Scripture Union remains the same.

Scripture Union is now a global movement active in over 120 countries.

Through a wide range of activities and initiatives, they provide opportunities for young people to explore the Bible, respond to Jesus and grow in faith.

They also provide some great resources to help people of all ages do the same.

We all need a little help when reading the Bible. Scripture Union's Bible reading guides have helpful notes on different Bible passages to help you understand what you're reading and relate it to modern day issues and events.

Daily Bread is a Bible reading guide helping you hear from God as you read the Bible.

If you would like to try it for yourself then do request a copy from Client Services.

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Over to you!

We do like to hear from you about the books you enjoy, how the Bible reading notes are encouraging you and how your church is supporting you.

We hear from many of you as you call the Client Services team for their help and advice but it would be good to hear from more people.

Our telephone lines are open Monday to Thursday from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m.

Suzanne, Tina and Laura don’t want to miss your call but often they are speaking on other lines so can’t always answer immediately so do call back.

Once again we at Torch Trust thank you for your support especially in prayer. As you know we do offer to pray for you but we are so humbled when we hear that you are praying for our work and ministry.

Please remember to continue to pray for our supporters and volunteers without whose generous donations of money and time we would not be able to continue the ministry of Torch.

Remember to call the Torch Prayer Phone to hear about some of the work we are doing and to offer a focus for your prayers for us. You can ring direct on 01858 438277 or when speaking to Client Services just ask them to put you through.

I do hope you enjoy this selection of books and remember give us a call if you would like to know more about the work of Torch and how we can help you.

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Book of the month

Springtime at Hope Hall

Pam Rhodes, Lion Hudson Ltd. Ref. 9339, £8.99.

There's never a dull moment at Hope Hall, as its rooms are filled throughout the day with gossipy grandmas, body-popping teenagers, temperamental dancing teachers, a choir without one decent singer to their name, knitters who natter, caterers who bake glorious cakes, slimmers nibbling chocolate, and a nursery group where it's the grown-ups who are near to tears!

But it's all in a day's work for administrator, Kath, whose job it is to make sure Hope Hall offers something for everyone! Mind you, she can see that some key members of her team are struggling – like caretaker Trevor, who is nursing his beloved wife who has cancer, and Maggie, their wonderful cook, whose husband of twenty-five years has just left her for a woman half her age.

As the team works to pull off their ambitious Hope Hall Centenary Easter Monday Fayre, Kath realizes reinforcements are needed. Brash, loud and inexperienced though she may be, Kath has a feeling that Shirley might be just the ticket! The Fayre is a triumph but when Kath's old flame comes back on the scene, she suddenly has some tough choices to make...

Springtime at Hope Hall is the first book in a delightful new trilogy centred on a Victorian church hall, the like of which can be found at the heart of life in so many towns across England.

Also by Pam Rhodes: The Dunbridge Chronicles: Fisher of Men, Ref.8241; Casting the Net, Ref. 8242; and If You Follow Me, Ref. 8243. All three books £7.99. DAISY only. Also available to borrow from the Torch library.

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New fiction to purchase from Torch

All of the following books are available for you to purchase in braille and large print (font sizes 17pt, 20pt, 25pt or 30pt). However, we may also be able to supply some of the books in audio on request. Please call Client Services on 01858 438260 for more details or to place an order.

We have over 1,000 other accessible books for you to buy and these are all listed on our online resources catalogue at torchtrust.org. If you need any assistance, our Client Services team are always ready to help you find what you want.

Biblically inspired fiction

Alabaster: What is most precious is also most fragile

Chris Aslan, Lion Hudson Ltd. Ref. 9335, £7.99. Maryam is stuck in an abusive marriage. Her father was given a jar of priceless perfume by a leper but he contracted leprosy and was exiled by the village. The precious jar was meant to bring them freedom, but it only seems to have brought destruction. But rumours abound concerning a new doctor; perhaps hope is on the horizon...

The Forgotten Palace (for children 8+)

Luke Aylen, Lion Hudson Ltd. Ref. 9337, £7.99. Antimony 'the tall dwarf' finds the broken shards of a magic mirror in which he glimpses the ruins of an ancient palace and sees a vision of it restored. He meets a stranger who shows Antimony a fuller version of his vision in the mirror.

Crime and suspense

Deep Water: One mistake and you're drowning

Christine Poulson, Lion Hudson Ltd. Ref. 9333, £7.99. A cure for obesity, worth billions. When patent lawyer Daniel Marchmont agrees to act for Calliope Biotech, he doesn't know what he's getting into. The first lawyer on the case is dead, and a vital lab book is missing. Then the unimaginable happens...

Cold, Cold Heart: Snowbound with a stone-cold killer

Christine Poulson, Lion Hudson Ltd. Ref. 9334, £7.99. Midwinter in Antarctica. Scientist Katie Flanagan flies in on the last plane before the sub-zero temperatures make it impossible to leave. As the crew lock down the research base they discover a body and realise that they are trapped with a killer.

Contemporary fiction

A Map of the Sky

Claire Wong, Lion Hudson Ltd. Ref. 9336, £8.99. Kit doesn't understand why his family have been moved to a village in the North. At Askfeld Guest House he meets an eclectic group of neighbours and forms an unlikely friendship with Beth. A story of the adult world through the eyes of an 11 year old boy.

The Death of Mungo Blackwell

Lauren H Brandenburg, Lion Hudson Ltd. Ref. 9340, £8.99. The Blackwells, a family with extraordinary history and traditions, including attending their own funerals before they die! Charlie Price's world has crumbled leaving him unemployed. On relocating he finds himself flung into the world of the Blackwells.

Four: Four anonymous gifts. One unforgettable story

John Glass, Instant Apostle. Ref. 9230, £7.99. A story that centres on the devastating consequences of human trafficking. Other themes portrayed are betrayal, loss and enslavement, but the overriding message is one of redemption, hope and fulfilment.

The Runaway (for teens and Young Adults)

Mary Weeks Millard, Instant Apostle. Ref. 9232, £7.99. Vulnerable and in desperate need of support, Tiago will have to decide whom to trust if he is to stop running and discover the key to his dead father's past. Will his murderous stepfather find him first and what about the girl whose help may have saved his life?


The Kilfinan Treasure

Harry Hunter, Instant Apostle. Ref. 9231, £7.99. Something has happened to disturb the routine of Kilfinan. Anonymous poetic entries in the local newspaper hint at hidden treasure in the area and the key to solving their mystery seems to lie in passages from the Bible. But who is setting the clues and why?

Contemporary romance

Harvest of Mercy

Moses Oladapo Adio, Faithbuilders Publishing. Ref. 9215, £8.99. Samantha takes a job at the British Embassy in Liberia. It is not long before a new love beckons and as civil war breaks out, she must make choices which will change her world forever. A journey of love and faith, betrayal and loyalty, failure and redemption.

Jane Austen Ruined My Life

Beth Pattillo, Lion Hudson Ltd (Monarch Books). Ref. 9351, £8.99. English professor Emma Grant has always done everything just the way her minister father told her she should – a respectable marriage, a teaching job at a good college. Life was good until the day Emma finds her husband in bed with another woman.

Historical fiction

Man of Glass

Andrea Sarginson, Instant Apostle. Ref. 9325, £8.99. It's spring 1349 and a terrible plague is spreading like wildfire across England. When the gruesome pestilence at last reaches Warren Horesby and neighbouring Meaux Abbey, Amalric and his family are blamed. Can Amalric save his honour and the village?

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Other new books to purchase from Torch

Christian Life


Cathy Madavan, SPCK. Ref. 9353, £9.99. Some people seem to seize every opportunity and bounce back from every setback. Cathy Madavan deploys wisdom to identify twelve ways we can become irrepressible. These principles are your tools for building a courageous, resilient and fulfilling life.

Faith in the Fog

Jeff Lucas, CWR. Ref. 9330, £10.99. Jeff Lucas explores the fear and pain of walking through a spiritual fog when doubts about faith undermine the joy of belief and how to reach the other side. Focusing on the person of Jesus and the way he approaches those who are worn out when life is tough.


Fresh Pathways in Prayer

Julian Hardyman, 10Publishing. DAISY ONLY, Ref. 9324, £5.99. The author tackles head-on the questions we all have about prayer, but feel we can't ask. He gives us permission to be honest about how our prayer lives are going and he provides fresh, practical ideas to help us to enjoy talking to our heavenly Father.


Simply Church

Sim Dendy, CWR. Ref. 9331. £9.99. Sim Dendy looks at the church as somewhere we can encounter God together, grow in our faith and knowledge of God's Word. We discover just how simple church can be: how we can get connected, grow stronger, manage our resources and really make a difference.


Through the Storms

Eric Gaudion, Instant Apostle, Ref. 9323, £8.99. With profound honesty and gentleness, Eric shares his journey dealing with pancreatitis and offers precious encouragements and hope-filled strategies to sustain and inspire all those touched by long-term struggles that seem resistant to prayer.

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New books to borrow from Torch

Torch operates a free postal lending library with over 2,800 books available to borrow in a variety of accessible media. Please ring Client Services on 01858 438260 to find out more about the books available. The titles below are a selection from those most recently added to the library. Each book has the media it is available in and its library reference number listed in the description.

Many of the books listed here are also offered for purchase – please check with Client Services.

Bible theme


Roger Forster, PUSH Publishing. DAISY and USB D3447. Roger Forster explores the powerful dynamism of the Trinity in his creative and incisive examination of our three-part God. Vital for individual understanding and for explaining Christianity to others, this is a must-read for Christians of any age.

Biography and Autobiography

Beginning Unlimited

Liz Grier, Instant Apostle. DAISY and USB D3412. This ten-year story of planting Unlimited Church is vulnerable, frank, wry, rejoicing and weeping over the highs and lows of following God's call. Based on Liz's journal entries as she struggles with faith, friendships, motherhood and work-life balance.

Dream Chasers

Uta Schmidt, Lion Hudson Ltd. DAISY and USB D3402. Dream Chasers follows the lives of 9 ordinary people, who overcame great hardship in order to follow their God-given dreams. They endured suffering and experience crises of faith, but ultimately they find a way through.

God's Hostage

Andrew Brunson, Authentic Media. DAISY and USB D3469. In 1993, Andrew Brunson travelled to Turkey to serve as a missionary. In 2016 he and his wife, Norine, were arrested. The State eventually released Norine, who remained in Turkey but Andrew was imprisoned. This is his story of imprisonment and journey of faith.

Christian Life

40 Days of Grace

Rich Miller, Lion Hudson Ltd (Monarch Books). Braille B3331 and Giant Print G2748. Grace is like breathing clean air. Graceless living is like breathing polluted air. These 40 days of reflections are easy to read, and often entertaining. But they are full of wisdom and will show you how to live in the grace of Christ, day by day.

Fresh Pathways in Prayer

Julian Hardyman, 10Publishing. DAISY and USB D3472. The author tackles head-on the questions we all have about prayer, but feel we can't ask. He gives us permission to be honest about how our prayer lives are going and he provides fresh, practical ideas to help us to enjoy talking to our heavenly Father.

Insight Into Anxiety

Clare Blake, CWR. DAISY and USB D3458. What is anxiety? Who is at risk of it? How does anxiety affect us? These and other questions are discussed in this helpful book, which also offers guidelines on building coping skills.

It's Okay Not To Be Okay

Sheila Walsh, Baker Book House. DAISY and USB D3444. We've all experienced that moment where we wish we could start all over again. Sheila Walsh helps women overcome the same old rut of struggles and pain by changing the way they think about God, themselves, and their everyday lives, helping you move forward.


Catherine Parks, The Good Book Company. DAISY and USB D3445. All of us long for authentic friendships but many struggle to find them. The secret to growing deeper relationships isn't about relationships at all – it’s about repentance. Discover how getting real with God will free you to get real with others.

The Gospel

John Stott, Inter-Varsity Press. Giant Print G2750. Christianity is not a religion, but God's good news for the world. This implies that it has both a divine origin and a human relevance: it comes from God and it speaks to our condition.


All I Want Is You

Sandy Millar, Hodder and Stoughton Ltd. DAISY and USB D3457. Fascinating stories, anecdotes and illustrations from one of its most inspirational practitioners. In short, pithy paragraphs, Sandy Millar talks about the life of Jesus, God's call to intimacy, the power of the Holy Spirit and the teachings of the Bible.

Soul Fuel

Bear Grylls, Hodder and Stoughton Ltd. DAISY and USB D3451. In this brave honest book, Bear reveals the inspiration that helps him to stand strong and find peace each day. These daily readings explore themes of friendship, failure, courage, risk and show us how we can face each day with peace, purpose and power.


The Prince

Francine Rivers, Tyndale House Publishers. DAISY and USB D3474. Jonathan. His zeal carried him into battle. His faithfulness won him honour among his people. His humility led him into friendship with the man who would become king in his place. But it was his courage and selflessness that opened the door to David's rule.

Also by Francine Rivers and newly available from the Torch library are The Priest, The Scribe, The Prophet and The Warrior.

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