Wesley Owen: Beginning of the End as Nottingham Branch Ceases Trading

Update, 08/01/2010, 9.55pm: Wesley Owen Sutton has just notified members of its facebook group that tomorrow, Saturday 9th Jan, will be the shop’s last day of trading.

Whilst some branches of Wesley Owen are still fighting to survive and raising support, news has emerged tonight of the Nottingham branch finally closing its doors.

A report posted this evening on thisisnottingham.co.uk notes that shop staff were only notified of the closure yesterday:

“We’re all shell-shocked,” said Sue Barrett, branch manager of the Castle Gate shop. “We knew it was going to happen. It’s just quicker than we expected. We are devastated.

“My biggest sadness is that there will no longer be a Christian bookshop in Nottingham.”

From: Bookshop closes after 25 years
Friday, January 08, 2010, 18:53

Previously trading as the Congregational Federation’s Castle Gate Bookshop, the Nottingham branch was one of Wesley Owen’s most recent acquisitions and its handover to Wesley Owen was expected to secure the future for both organisations:

Nottingham is a vibrant shopping centre with a strong history of Christian retailing, the lease on Wesley Owen’s existing store came to an end in January 08, and discussions were held between Wesley Owen and ourselves to explore the benefits of combining the 2 stores. The Castle Gate bookshop is superbly located, being just 50 metres from a main High St, and it quickly became obvious that a Wesley Owen store in the Castle Gate location would provide a great resource for the city and the Congregational Federation, and would give a secure foundation for the future for both retail ministries.

From: CF Bookshop (Wesley Owen)

14 thoughts on “Wesley Owen: Beginning of the End as Nottingham Branch Ceases Trading

  1. Of course it is terrible that there is now no Christian Bookshop in the centre of Nottingham but it is not true that there is no Christian Bookshop in Nottingham as it is one of the few cities with existing suburban shops – Olive Tree (Sherwood), Mustard Seed (Gedling) and Christian Book Centre (Beeston). People of Nottingham – and everywhere else – please support your local Christian Bookshop.

  2. This is a deeply sad thing – especially the speed with which it happened and the extremely short notice that seems to have been given to the staff in the instance of Nottingham.

    Like Mike I would urge people to remember that though the city centre has lost it’s christian bookshop – and one that had served the community well for many many years through it’s previous owners as well as WO – it is not true to say that Nottingham has no Christian bookshop.

    Indeed the truth is that we need to look around and ask how many indie ventures are there already in the towns and cities effected by these closures – can there be communications and dialogues in these current times to help support both the indies and those soon to be unemployed?

    If an increase in sales is likely guaranteed by these closures then surely there is a likely corresponding need for more trained staff, and the revenue to cover it – perhaps a collaborative venture is possible in some of these instances?

    I think this is something that we need to think about more, especially as Christian Retailers & publishers etc, the ethics of supporting and serving, employment vs volunteers, two coats…?
    I don’t have answers, I do have questions and I know that I do believe it is my responsibility to provide employment where and when I can if I truly want to serve my local community and economy in the best way possible – but thats just my consideration.

    Certainly something worth looking at and working towards, certainly given the news today and for these shops in particular, and indeed time to start talking for other places as well perhaps?

    For anyone looking for christian bookshops remember you can find many details of shops in your area’s on UKCBD – which btw is dependent on shops and others letting the wonderful Phil know they are there (and in some cases it may be no longer there)!! also there are some listed at goodbookstall.org.uk

    Indeed as Mike has said, though true there is now no City Centre Christian Bookshop, Nottingham and surrounds is blessed with a number of independent Christian Bookshops further out, all of which I am sure would be most pleased to serve the wider community and would look forward to the engagement. Please support independent and local businesses where you can as they really help support the local economies in a positive way as they are an integral and commited part of that community and economy :0)

    Bethel Christian Bookshop
    166 Alfreton Road, Nottingham NG7 3NS.

    Trinity Books. St. Johns College, Chilwell Lane, Bramcote, Nottingham, Nottinghamshire NG9 3DS.

    Christian Book Centre. 63-65, Chilwell Rd, Beeston, Nottingham, Nottinghamshire NG9 1EQ.

    The Ark. 14, Ashfield Precinct, Kirkby-in-Ashfield, Nottingham, Nottinghamshire NG17 7BQ.

    The Olive Tree, 523, Mansfield Rd, Sherwood, Nottingham, Nottinghamshire NG5 2JL.

    Mansfield Christian Book Centre, 2 Newgate Lane, Mansfield, NG182LF

    and if you are towards the Lincoln area then please look into my own shop:
    Unicorn Tree Books, 35-40 Lincoln Central Market, Sincil Street, LN5 7ET.
    unicorntreebooks (at) aol (dot) com.

    This is sad – deeply sad, and my heartfelt prayers really do go out to the staff at these shops in this time.
    But there is still hope and possibility – we just need to be working towards it and doing what ever we can to dialogue, share, communicate and build up – it starts with us doing what we can here now, but knowing that in the end we work to fulfill his plan, whatever that is – I think it’s a big one though ;0)

  3. It’s so very sad that the STL/WO failure has in effect closed two bookshops in Nottingham. It is pretty awful that in the case of both Nottingham and Sutton, the staff have had such short notice especially when there was talk of the end of January being the cut off date.Confusing when some shops are going now and others trading on.

  4. hello..!
    I wonder if this is what will happen in manchester, where our city centre WO is also due to close….there are some outlying christian bookshops…but what i like about city centre ones is the sense of diversity and choice..and yes we need to pray for the staff…x

  5. I suspect, as has been said before, that city centre rent and council tax is so much higher that shops there are more prone to being less profitable.

  6. Hello, I have only recently been aware of the Christian Bookshop blog and have read with interest the comments about STL and Wesley Owen. I manage the Christian Book Centre in Beeston Nottingham so this is a bit of a plug. Whilst it is true that the demise of Wesley Owen in Nottingham has left the city centre without a Christian Bookshop a number of the independents are within a number of miles of the centre. We at Beeston are only 8 miles from the centre of Nottingham and have street parking outside the shop. The shop has been in this area for over 30 years serving the local community. Over the last few years the number of customers has decreased year on year but we still fight on. The shop is well stocked with all the latest titles for books and CD’s and we offer a wide range of cards and gifts. The owner of the shop Alan always maintains that our presence is only the shop window as with all other shops we can not stock everything especially with the huge amount of Christian titles always in publication. But we always endeavour to get hold of publications for customers. It is vitally important to us that people are aware of our prescience and support the shops mission so it always welcoming when new customers visit the shop. We share the shop with a fantastic music shop upstairs in the building called Crossplay. Crossplay provide a wide range of instruments, accessories and music books. So if you are in the Beeston area why not pop in and see what we are about.


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  9. Sadly the Christian Bookcentre in Beeston, and Wesley Owen in Derby have both closed down this year. Can anybody confirm on here an uptodate listing of Christian Book Shops local to Derby and Nottingham that are still trading?

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