It was both a pleasure and a privilege to be able to visit the brand new, bright and shiny Sarum Books in Salisbury earlier this week. I found Mark and one of his assistants, Belinda, who joins him there from Sarum College Bookshop, busy preparing for Lent.
Catherine Street is a superb location, just around the corner from the Marketplace in one direction and from one of the main city centre car parks in the other, and it was good to see plenty of people wandering by and stopping to look in the window of Salisbury’s newest Christian bookshop, one or two even popping in.
Mark was kind enough to give me a guided tour and outline something of his vision for the shop’s future development, including plans for a tea and coffee area on the first floor.
The challenge now, of course, is winning the hearts and minds of Salisbury’s Christian community; but the contrast between this brightly lit and well-stocked shop — very clearly its owner’s pride and joy — and the sadly shabby former SPCK, should, I hope, prove a winning formula.
If you live in Salisbury — or if, like me, you’re just passing through — do take the opportunity to call in and make yourself known: you can be sure of a warm welcome and all the help you need in finding the books or other church resources you’re looking for.