THE WELL, FAREHAM, has become our latest casualty in the struggle to survive as shopping trends change. According to a report at portsmouth.co.uk, the shop’s demise is attributable to both online competition and “the growth of cafe culture”, the very culture that Living Oasis and other recent initiatives such as Cornerstone, St Neots, are focusing on.
Sadly and particularly poignantly, the day The Well ceased trading was 3rd September 2010, the date of our latest Day of Prayer for the UK Christian book and retail trade, yet somehow the rest of us in the trade seem to have been unaware of this situation unfolding: an unfortunate lesson for all of us on the importance of networking, of sharing our difficulties and our joys and of keeping in touch with one another.
From the shop news page:
The Well closed its doors to customers for the last time on 3 September after the chair of trustees had led a short celebration of thanks for all those who have worked to make the Well such an important part in the lives of so many people over the past 10½ years. The Reverend Peter Hall (vice-Chairman of Christians Together in Fareham) then signalled the final closure with prayers of thanksgiving and a blessing for the future of the Well Charity.
- Is café culture part of the problem or the solution?
- Why did local churches in Shrewsbury rally round to save Illuminate yet local churches in Fareham appear to have been unable or unwilling to do so for The Well?
- What can the rest of us learn from these starkly different outcomes?