MORE GOOD NEWS has emerged from Norwich in a report published yesterday following Norwich Christian Resource Centre‘s AGM held on November 19th: after reaching crisis point last year with a loss of £18k, the shop has returned to the black with a net income in the current financial year of £14k.
The situation is far from rosy, however, as this has only been achieved by reducing stock levels and tightening the belt in other areas alongside generous support from the local Christian community, which responded positively when news of the shop’s difficulties was publicised. The report cites chairman of the trustees, Philip Talbot, in an address to the AGM:
“Our financial situation is still precarious and I can give no guarantee that we will still be here in 12 months’ time, but if we were not what a loss it would be.
“The centre is a special place where you can find peace, laughter, humour, good will, friendship, refreshment and rest. It is far more than just a bookshop and customers get real value for money from the service provided.
“The value is in the café’s great food and the excellent knowledge from the bookshop staff alongside the products for sale. You just can’t put a price on that. I do commend the work that goes on here and ask you to spread the word amongst your friends and acquaintances.”
The report goes on to briefly outline the financial situation and offers particular thanks to Steve Foyster, shop manager, for “his leadership, commitment and dedication” through a difficult period. Steve is also quoted, noting that bookstalls and church events have proved especially helpful:
“Set against a gloomy economic backdrop the survival of the shop and café is somewhat remarkable, some would say bordering on the miraculous.
“The shop income has stabilised in the last 12 months and we have taken bookstalls to 18 ministry events which continue to be a great source of income, similar to regular events at St Luke’s in Norwich.
“Stock levels have been reduced in line with a fall in sales and books and CDs, which are under a constant threat from e-books, Kindle and downloads. Improvements to our online shop require capital and have thus far not been possible. Church supplies and Bibles continue to be a speciality of ours.
“Café income is down 2% year-on-year but the first two months of the new financial year have shown a marked improvement and Christmas dinner bookings are up.”
- Read the full report: Norwich Christian Centre says use us or lose us
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