The Hub Christian Resource Centre, Walsall, has today announced that it has completed its relocation to Stafford Street, and will be open to the public on Saturday 22nd October 2011.
Nearly 2 years after the closure of Wesley Owen and the subsequent birth of The Hub, Christian retailing in Walsall is undergoing yet another major development. The Hub, which vacated it’s former shop in The Crossing at St Paul’s in Walsall town centre less than one week ago —ringing up it’s final sale there at about 4pm on Saturday 16th October — has completed the refitting of 31-31a Stafford Street in just one week, and will open this Saturday
Although renovation of the former White Mountain store — which had sat empty for over 12 months — had been ongoing for several weeks, the fact that the staff and volunteers have completed the transformation, with no outside contractors, is nonetheless testament to their passion for the shop, their mission to keep Christian books, music, cards, gifts and resources on the high street of Walsall, and the belief of all of those who volunteered, that Christian retailing is important, and the service offered is worth preserving.
Director Luke Hughes-Bunger said,
First and foremost, we must thank each and every person who has helped us throughout these last weeks and months. Without our numerous volunteers, drivers, painters, decorators, handymen and women and well-wishers, as well as those who have supported us in prayer and financially, this move would not have been possible.
We must also thank God. Without him, there would be no reason for The Hub to even exist. It is because of Him that so many people have given so much and have continued to support the work we do.
The move, which has been on the cards for several months, is in response to numerous factors, including the ongoing recession, increasing costs, the seismic shift in the layout of Walsall’s town centre, and a desire to diversify and beyond what would have been possible at The Crossing at St Paul’s to name just a few.
The move came about for a variety of reasons, you can’t put your finger on any one thing which made us say ‘go’. Everything just fell into place, and just at the right time, to make it possible, which is often how we have found God to move in these circumstances.
The recession is real, and shows no signs of letting up. We cannot simply bury our heads in the sand and hope the storm will pass. If we believe that there is still a place for Christian bookshops on the high street, which we do, then we must be proactive in finding ways to secure the survival of our shop.
It’s a buyers market right now, and the cost savings which can be achieved by moving just a few minutes away from the town centre, is very significant.
The Hub leaves The Crossing, which has been the home to Walsall’s Christian bookshop since St. Paul’s converted the ground floor to a shopping centre more than14 years, and moves to Stafford Street, the home of The Beacon, Walsall’s first independent Christian bookshop.
Christine Bunger, also a Director of the shop, said,
It’s sort of like coming full circle. As Walsall’s layout once again changes, and development continues in this part of town following major investment in the area by Tesco, Walsall College and Walsall Housing Group, it seems fitting that The Hub is able to return home to the same street where it all began with The Beacon, more than 40 years ago. Once again, an independent Christian Bookshop sits pride of place on Stafford Street.
Luke explained further:
Moving also gives us a freedom to diversify, and to grow beyond the confines of ‘The Crossing’ our home since we opened in February 2010.
That’s not to be disparaging towards our former landlords. They have been fantastic — everything we could want in a landlord in many ways — however the fact remains, much of what The Hub would like to do is already offered by St Paul’s. By moving, rather than reducing the Christian presence in the town, we are actually increasing it. St Paul’s will continue to minister to the people of the town, through the great work they do, and The Hub can minister to different people, in a different part of town.