More Bookshop Closures: St Andrew’s, Bury St Edmunds; Beulah Books, Aberdare; and Jubilate, Stratford-upon-Avon

Update, 31/1/2013: A report of Jubilate’s closure has now been posted in the Stratford Observer, Christian bookshop closes doors after 27 years (Laura Maltby, 31/1/2013)

THIS WEEKEND saw the last day of trading for St Andrew’s Bookshop, Bury St Edmunds, closure announced in a brief notice on facebook earlier this month:

Just to let you know the shop (St Andrews Bury St Edmunds) will cease trading on Saturday 26th January 2013. Thank you all our customers for your support over the years.

History of St Andrew's Bookshop

History of St Andrew’s Bookshop

This follows on from the closure of St Andrew’s Shirley branch in the run up to Christmas last year — also announced via facebook — and leaves the company, once fifteen branches strong, with only six stores plus an  outlet at the Jesus Celebration Centre, Milton Keynes.

No formal announcements about either of these closures or the future of the remaining branches appear to have been made; a brief history of the company — five branches of which split off to form the Quench group in 2009 —  may be found on their About Us page.

Over the next two months at least two more Christian bookshops are slated for closure: Beulah Books, Aberdare, whose last day of trading is expected to be 23rd February; and Jubilate, Stratford-upon-Avon, closing down at the end of Holy Week, lease terminating on Easter Day, March 31st.

Stratford Observer, 31/1/2013: Christian bookshop closes doors after 27 years

Stratford Observer, 31/1/2013: Christian bookshop closes doors after 27 years

The following notice was circulated by Jubilate to local churches earlier this month:

Jubilate Christian Bookshop

The vision of Jubilate to provide the opportunity to explore Christianity in the familiar setting of a shop has been sustained in Stratford in various forms for towards thirty years. During that time, by the grace of God, many lives have been touched and some radically changed. Many more will have been blessed in ways about which we may never know

The challenge of increasing shopping on line, electronic reading , and the reduction in card sending partly related to increasing postal charges, have all contributed to an ever more challenging trading environment.

You may recall that last June we announced our decision to exercise the break clause in our lease. Initially this allowed us to continue trading to the beginning of December. Subsequently the landlords graciously agreed to allow us to continue over the Christmas period to the end of February. They have now agreed to us continuing until the 31st March this year.

While we are in a position to fulfil our obligations, it is with great sadness that we have concluded that Jubilate must cease to trade from that date.

I am sure that with us you will trust and pray that in due course an effective Christian witness can be established and sustained in the centre of the town, in a form which serves best the needs of the community into the future.

All of the Trustees, the Managers and the team of volunteers, wish to reiterate our thanks to you for your support over the years in the ministry of Jubilate in the cause of The Kingdom.

January 2013