Despite ongoing conversations with the Nationwide Christian Trust, I’m told that this weekend will see another four five of the abandoned branches of Wesley Owen — Chester, Dundee, Inverness, Macclesfield and Walsall — finally cease trading. That leaves branches of CLC in Dundee and Inverness, but no overtly Christian retail presence in the other three towns, and more Christian booksellers unemployed: please continue to pray for all the staff and their families.
In Chester, however, things may be less bleak than these pictures of the former SPCK bookshop appear to suggest:
|Empty shelves in the former SPCK Bookshop, Chester
(Photos taken Thursday January 21st, 2010)
Chester is home to eden.co.uk, the UK’s (and probably Europe’s) biggest online Christian retailer, and last weekend Gareth Mulholland, Eden’s owner, indicated that they’re involved in discussions with friends and church leaders about the future of Christian retail in the city. If you live in the area and would like to take part in those discussions, you can request membership of the Chester Christian Bookshop facebook discussion group.
Responding to concerns that Eden might be branching out into bricks & mortar retailing, Gareth said:
There are lots of creative ideas being floated around. They generally involve collaboration, community and shared ownership – none of them involve Eden.co.uk setting up its own bookshop.
Please pray for Gareth and everyone involved in those discussions.
Adapted from Removals Fairies Strike at former SPCK Bookshop, Chester. Thanks to the intrepid SPCK/SSG photographer for the pics.