Hay-on-Wye Calling: St John’s Christian Centre needs your help

If you’re a member of the Support your local Christian Bookshop facebook group, you may have noticed Eleanor Watkins’ recent shout out on behalf of the St John’s Christian Centre, Hay-on-Wye. I invited Eleanor to tell us a little more about the situation.

Eleanor writes:

Almost 21 years ago, a group of Christians from various churches in the Hay-on-Wye area got together, planned, prayed and finally opened a bookshop/coffee shop in the town, on Thursdays (market day). Through many ups and downs we have maintained a witness, serving teas and coffees, scones and biscuits, and soup in winter, while stocking a large range of used Christian books and a selection of new books, cards, gifts etc. We also offer prayer, fellowship and a listening ear. Many friends have been made, books sold, the shop has become a meeting place for several groups of people, and visitors have come from all over the globe. The shop is staffed entirely by volunteers, and all profits from the shop are donated to various charities.

We have now been given notice to quit our rented premises, which are in an excellent position near to the town centre. We are considering various alternatives, all of which are some way from the main shops and not ideal for our purposes. We are praying for a permanent Christian shop or centre, open full time.

Hay is the largest secondhand book centre in the world, it attracts thousands of visitors to the bookshops, and tens of thousands over the ten-day Guardian Literature Festival held here each Spring. If a place ever needed a full-time Christian bookshop, it’s Hay, and there isn’t one!

Is anyone out there looking for a challenge? You’d also need the expertise, resources and energy in abundance! Most of us volunteers are getting older and some have health problems. We’re praying for the impossible (though not to God) – a permanent bookshop/coffee shop/counselling centre here that will bear witness to the love and goodness of God. We believe that it will happen!

P.S. Hay and area is a beautiful place to live!

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