Tuesday, 20 May 2008

Christian bookshops

Christian Marketplace has an article on the former SPCK/ SSG bookshops that I don't think I've linked to: Robust response from Brewer re SSG Bookshops turmoil

The blogger at Long withdrawing roar is shocked by a visit to a former SPCK shop: Flee from the wrath to come

Phil Groom addresses the 'Why shouldn't I buy my books from Amazon?' question: Christian Bookshops, who needs them?

Thursday, 15 May 2008

Former SPCK shops must remain Christian bookshops

From last week's Church Times: Bookshops withdrawn from sale. An extract, talking about the reasons that the four shops that were to have been auctioned this week were withdrawn from the sale:

There are thought to be two reasons for the halt. One is that the transfer of ownership to SSG has not been completed. The other is that the Brewer brothers, who run SSG, have been reminded of a seven-year restrictive covenant that accompanied the transfer of all the freeholds from SPCK in October 2006. This states that the shops can be used only as Christian multi-denominational bookshops. The covenant would apply to any prospective purchaser.

As an aside, the Church Times feature from a week or two back about Thomas Bray, the founder of SPCK is online here: Leaven in the Anglican lump

People have written in the comments about a number of the SSG / former SPCK shops: It is rumoured that Lincoln might reopen and that Carlisle might close again.

It was great to see so many people at the gathering on Wednesday. From my point of view it was great to meet some of the faces behind the names, and I know others found it useful for a variety of reasons. Phil Groom has written about the gathering, as has Phelim McIntyre in the comments below.

I might go back to the CRE tomorrow, this time to do some drawing. It depends whether I get all of my work done this evening.

Wednesday, 7 May 2008

Former SPCK shops: Church Times letters / Shops withdrawn from auction

Church Times Letters

This week's Church Times has several letters that relate to my news item from last week's paper, 'Former SPCK shops to be auctioned'. An extract from the letter from Mrs Margery Roberts about the Westminster premises (click through for the whole thing):

This bookshop is leased by the Society of the Faith to the SPCK. Some months ago, we were asked to consider an assignment of that lease to St Stephen the Great (SSG). We made considerable efforts to obtain appropriate and satisfactory information about SSG's finances and management structure, but, in the end, our trustees had to consider the proposed assignment without any reassuring material. They turned down the application, and the SPCK then decided to surrender the lease on the break date provided for in the lease, which happens to be this May.

Mrs Roberts says that my report 'may have been misleading', but I'm not quite sure what she means by this. I said in the report that "The Westminster bookshop at Faith House was closed on 11 April", but I didn't go into any further detail apart from a sentence or two about the rare books side of things.

Shops are withdrawn from auction

The four shops due to be auctioned by Colliers CRE in London on 13 May have been withdrawn from the auction (Thomas mentioned this in the comments last week). I understand that the shops have been withdrawn because there are covenants in the deeds which restrict the use of the buildings in some way. The shops, in Bradford, Canterbury, Exeter, and York are apparently still for sale.