WHILST THE RISE OF THE EBOOK continues, apparently, to threaten the entire trade, we still live in exciting times as:
Read on to find out more…
VeggieTales Return to Authentic Media
Remember VeggieTales? They’re back! Courtesy of none other than Authentic Media, who write:
Authentic are pleased to announce that we will once again be stocking VeggieTales!
The animated, entertaining and educational vegetables will be making their way back into Authentic stocks very soon. Some new titles will be available from the 5th March with many others following soon after…
Trade supply will be via STL UK (or whatever they’re calling themselves by then) and promotional materials should be available via your STL rep: see today’s STL blog post for more details.
VeggieTales are back! Download the Authentic press release for full details (pdf, 500kb)
CLC v/s Living Oasis: The Mess in Inverness
Inverness Turf War - Living Oasis v CLC
News of disturbing developments in Inverness is emerging as Living Oasis prepare to vacate the former Wesley Owen premises following acquisition of the lease by CLC: the excerpt opposite from a recent online chat sums things up succinctly and asks the right questions: what is going on with the Christian retail world?
My understanding of the situation — which no one from either Living Oasis or CLC has seen fit to challenge thus far, but I stand ready to be corrected if necessary — is that last year, with the encouragement of local Christians, CLC attempted to liaise with Living Oasis over the possibility of working together in Inverness. Living Oasis, however, in the words of another source, “wouldn’t hear of it” and pressed on regardless in pursuit of their own vision.
Every story has two sides, however. Andy Twilley:
It is a great pity that, without consultation with us, CLC has taken over the lease of the Living Oasis shop where we were trading in Inverness, thus forcing us to close. Their refusal to engage with us in the weeks leading up to this happening is at best unfortunate, and I certainly feel that what has taken place, and how it has been handled, brings no honour or glory to God.
If there’s a lesson to be learnt, I guess it’s a harsh one: if you believe you’ve got a vision from God, you’ve got to go for it — because half-hearted measures simply don’t cut it. Jesus calls us to total commitment (Revelation 3.15ff comes to mind) and maintaining a rolling one-month lease hardly seems to reflect that, let alone being unfair on both the staff and the property owner. Hardly surprising, then, that when someone else comes along with a longer-term commitment, the landlady agrees; and this is not the first lease that Living Oasis have lost to another bidder: Living Oasis Croydon: Call for prayer as new lease is threatened.
Could the Inverness situation have been handled better? Undoubtedly so. But as for allocating blame: I’d say that there are neither villains nor heroes in this particular story, just casualties; and those, I fear — as usual in any sort of takeover — will be the staff caught up in the turmoil.
CLC have confirmed that they take on the lease with effect from 1st March 2011 but have declined further comment.
Hothorpe Hall Bookshop Closing
Less of a debacle but nonetheless sad, a brief note from Hothorpe Hall asking me to remove their UKCBD entry:
Hothorpe Hall still operates as a conference centre and wedding venue and we still sell some Christian books, but this bookshop will cease to trade in the near future so I recommend you remove any references to Hothorpe Hall as a Christian bookshop.
5 Quid for Life: A Mental Health Safety Net
5 Quid for Life
If you’re brave or foolhardy enough to follow my personal blog you may recall that in my final week at LST last year, I said that I planned to devote some time to blogging in support of my madosphere friends: there’s far too much stigma and misunderstanding attached to mental illness where there should be respect and support for those who are battling these traumas.
That’s a commitment that’s become even more important since then with the current government’s plans to do away with Disability Living Allowance and replace it with what they’re calling “Personal Independence Payment”. With a superficial glance at the proposals, it doesn’t look like a bad thing: the benefit system needs reforming, surely?
Maybe so, if you’re a Daily Mail reader and happen to believe that the majority of those on benefits are layabouts and scum who need nothing more than a kick up the backside to get them into work. But the reality is that the vast majority of people on Disability Living Allowance need that benefit — they need our support, not our scorn.
And of those people, amongst the least understood and most vulnerable are those who are mentally ill. They, of all people, are the least well equipped to contend with the sort of changes that the government’s proposals are bringing in. Imagine, if you can, having your mind damaged by trauma, abuse or some other horror, but eventually, somehow, you find a way to survive. You’re not fit to work: perhaps it’s voices in your head that won’t give you peace or let you concentrate; or a constant fear that those who wrecked your life will find you again; then there’s depression and sleeplessness and self-harm — the list goes on. But you survive, just. You’ve gone through it all with your therapist and whoever else and you’ve ended up on benefits, surviving.
Then the system changes and you’re faced by — by what, exactly? That’s the problem: you don’t know. The only thing you do know is that you’re going to be reassessed. Will they simply sign you off on the basis of what’s already known about you? Or will they force you to relive the nightmare?
But rather than say more myself, I invite you to go read this, from my friend Ali Quant: The beginning of the end. Be warned now: it’s uncomfortable reading; but it’s also essential reading if you want to truly understand the impact the government’s proposals are having upon people like Ali.
And so, 5 Quid for Life was born: a mental health safety net. As I explain in my introductory post, it started as an idea to save one life, namely Ali Quant’s. But a team of others took hold of the idea with me and, at Ali’s request, we’ve expanded our horizons and are now looking out for anyone who, due to mental illness, is at risk of losing their incomes, homes or lives as a consequence of the benefit system changes.
It’s a wild idea: who launches a fundraising project like this in the midst of a national economic crisis? But then I ask, what kind of God thinks he can save the world by getting himself crucified? So I dare to think that maybe, just maybe, I’m in good company.
The project is very much in its infancy at the moment, too small to even officially register with the Charities Commission; but we’re determined to make it happen and well on the way to formal establishment. Will you join us?