The following message was sent out yesterday to supporters and friends of Wesley Owen Harrow:
‘Living Oasis’ – A new and exciting vision for your local Christian Bookshop:
I am delighted to be able to tell you that although Wesley Owen in Harrow will be closing very soon, a plan has been proposed to reopen under new ownership and with a new trading name as soon as possible and hopefully within the next few weeks.
Along with a number of other Wesley Owen stores, we have been approached by the Nationwide Christian Trust with a proposal to allow us to continue trading for the next few months and then to move forward to extend the work we do to support the Church. The proposals made are very exciting and very much in line with the vision we have held as the way forward for Christian bookshops.
The following is an extract taken from the brochure produced by the Nationwide Christian Trust and is presented for your consideration:
The vision is to provide a Church presence on the high street to connect with Christians and non Christians alike.
The mission objective is to provide resources for the Church as they seek to impact their local communities. Looking at the life of Jesus we see a man out in the market place engaging with people as they went about their daily routines. This is our vision for the ‘Living Oasis’ venues.
Christian bookshops have previously held a narrow focus resulting in reduced viability. We will be looking at each store seeking to create a place relevant to the surrounding area and working in that context. We will be working with the store manager and local Christians to explore ways to increase footfall and to use the store outside normal hours for imaginative projects and events. We will also be seeking to envision local people toward ways of thinking that move us from maintenance to mission with centres being used in a dynamic and strategic way for the work of the Kingdom. We will be seeking to draw local Churches on board to become stakeholders in these opportunities and become involved in a number of ways.
The proposals for our store include the following possibilities to run alongside the bookshop:
- Coffee shop to be open to all – Christian and non Christian
- Lounge area – to be used, for example, by Church youth groups
- Children’s Play Area – a supervised and safe place for children whilst Mum/Dad relaxes or does some shopping in peace and quiet!
- Meeting room for Church use
- Prayer ministry facility
In order to make this succeed and become a centre that is relevant to the Church in our area, we need your input and support. The decision to go ahead will depend on the level of enthusiasm, interest and support you are willing to give! So, if you share our vision and sense the value of maintaining a Christian presence on the high street we would encourage you to get involved to ensure that we can take this vision forward. It will not happen without you!
To provide you with further information we invite our Church Leaders/Church Representatives/Youth Leaders etc to a lunchtime meeting at which refreshments will be provided. A representative from the Nationwide Christian Trust will give a presentation and there will be opportunity for questions to be asked and contributions to be made. Venue and date will be advised asap.
Thank you so much for your faithful prayers. Let’s not let this God given opportunity slip through our fingers.
Many thanks and blessings
Pauline Banks: Manager
Dionysia Ayeni: Assistant Manager
Wesley Owen Books and Music
11 Masons Avenue
Harrow HA3 5AH
020 8861 3259
Interested parties are invited to contact the shop on the above number or to contact Pauline Banks directly.
A final plea from a friend of the shop:
If people could take this to their churches and church leaders and let everybody know, if we don’t get what the Nationwide Christian Trust deem to be a high enough level of interest then we will leave the high street possibly never to return again, the shop in Watford are looking for the same kind of support.