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  • Make comments or offer suggestions that don’t relate to a specific page (every page has a ‘Leave a Reply’ box at the bottom for comments about that page).
  • Submit a Book Review — please see the Review Guidelines for some simple advice on how to write a review… and please remember to include the author, title and publisher (even better if you include the ISBN!).
  • Write about your local Christian Bookshop: What’s best about them? What’s worst? Were they helpful? What’s the coffee like? Would you go there again or recommend the shop to a friend? If not why not?
  • Tell other visitors about your Christian Bookshop shopping experiences.

If your comments refer to a particular shop, please remember to include the shop name and location with your comments. Thank you.

42 thoughts on “Feedback

  1. It was good to be at the AGM of the BA- Christian Booksellers Group last Tuesday. Thanks to Phil for his write-up of the meeting and Mark Clifford for chairing – as well as being re-elected Chairman of the Group. Thanks as well to John, Sam and Ruth and congratulations to Melanie Tucker from Church House Bookshop for being willing to be elected onto the Committee.

    The Christian bookshop in St Albans has recently moved to new premises. We are now in the city centre, in a ‘high street’ location, close to the Cathedral and in what is known as the ‘Cathedral Quarter’.
    Please note that the St Andrew’s Bookshop is now at 20 Holywell Hill, St Albans, Herts, AL1 1DD
    The interesting thing is that we are sharing the shop with the St Albans Music Centre and this working out well. Many of the customers spend at both side of the shop, making us a one-stop shop for books and music. The Music centre is a specialist shop in sheet music and have customers who visit from many miles around.

    At CBC in 2008 A. Guy Taylor made a plea for Christian bookshops to keep their shops open on the ‘high street’ and wanted to start a campaign to get people to support their local Christian bookshop. At St andrew’s in St Albans we are making our stand in this direction. However, the Booksellers Association have launched a campaign to support independent bookshops called ‘Love your Local Bookshop’. This is a campaign that will benefit Christian bookshops who get on board with it. There is free publicity material and the local bookshop can adapt it to suit their own needs and local situation. Conatct Meryl Halls at the BA for more details.

  2. Hi I dont know whether you remember me but I was at CBC last year and I asked at end of the seminar if you would help me to understand my Mac when I brought one, is the offer still open

  3. Hi Rosemary – I seem to remember one or two conversations with various people about Macs. Quite happy to offer what help I can as and when time permits… all depends on what sort of help you’re looking for, of course: Apple’s support pages are probably the best place to start — Switch 101 gives all sorts of advice on switching from PC to Mac, for instance; and don’t miss the discussion forums, where you can share your experiences with other Mac users…

    You may also find Doug Chaplin’s Switching to a Mac pages helpful…

  4. Hi Phil

    Here’s a possible one for your blog.

    We have customers asking us for the Poverty and Justice Bible published by the Bible Society at £12.99. However, Bible Society won’t sell it to us because they can only sell it to individual customers and not to the trade. They say that Harper Collins hold the copyright for the CEV text. Sam at Harper Collins says “Hi Geoff, this is a bible society product and we have them special dispensation to create it using our material. We are trying to find a way to get this into the Christian trade through stl but currently the margin won’t work for any of us. But I will keep you informed of progress. Sam.”
    However, Bible Society are now offering it at £9.99 so there must be some margin in it somewhere.
    The annoying thing is that the Bible looks really good and innovative and I am sure would sell really well and highlight issues that Christians need to face.
    What do other shops think?


  5. Hi,

    I was researching your web site, and I believe that our Local Search Engine Optimization solutions could be a perfect fit for your business.

    Do you have a moment this week to have a brief discussion about how we can benefit your business? I’d appreciate 10 minutes of your time to explore how we can help you continue to meet and exceed your business objectives.

    Please advice with a date and time.


    Kind Regards,

  6. I have recently had published my book, ‘The Path to Martyrdom’, the life story of the Tudor martyr Anne Askewe(Ayscough). It is the first book I have written. A synopsis etc. may be viewed on the Goldstar website. I am trying to find ways of publicising it and wondered if you might be interested in including details of it on your blog. It is a detailed insight into the struggle of women in Tudor society and particularly those wtih protestant views.

  7. I have been asked about the Poverty and Justice bible on one occasion a few months ago – the customer didn’t actually want to order it so I had a look for it and found it on Bible Society website but didn’t follow it up. I think it would be a bible I would very much like to stock and I hope HC get their finger out.

    On this kind of subject, I am very concerned that Church Times are not making available the new teenage girl’s magazine Caris to the trade at all. I have been asked for this by several customers but have been told by CT that this is their policy because they cannot fund it. Since CT offer subscritions to their magazine at less than half price at Greenbelt, and have recently been giving away entire print runs free of charge, I find this ridiculous.

    As well as this, Church Times will not give me terms to stock the Church Times itself which I can afford to take advantage of – I stocked CT for six months recently and made a £35 loss over the period. I cannot find anyone at the paper who will talk sense to me. Is anyone else in this situation?

  8. Pingback: The Poverty and Justice Bible « UKCBD: The Christian Bookshops Blog

  9. Hi Phil

    Read your comments about The Shack (thank you!) and can certainly reassure you as regards reprinting this title – we are looking at it on a daily basis and have pretty much not been out of stock since we published in July. Glad it is going so well for you and so many other booksellers – it is great to have a bestseller out there that is continuing to create a lot of buzz!

  10. Phil, what about creating a string for ‘Thanks for GOOD service! or suchlike! It might encourage a few of us moaners to use the Blog to pass on some thanks for excellent service.

    My first nomination would be Marston Christian Books division, who have processed & creditted our Christmas returns very quickly. The credit notes appeared on the January statement. This is excellent going, and is real ‘Sale or Return’- instead of waiting months to get the credit back.

    Marston- much appreciated! Thank you.

  11. Pingback: Applause for Marston: Who Gets Your Vote? « UKCBD: The Christian Bookshops Blog

  12. I am sure a number of you will remember and were visited by Geoff Turner who used to Rep for a number of Christian gift & card companies over the years.

    I am sure many of us were praying for him through his illness, but I have just been informed that he passed away on the 5th April.

    He was a gentle and friendly man always with a smile and good thought and it was always a pleasure for him to come visit or when we talked on the phone, I will miss his visits indeed.

  13. This is Hannah Bevills, Editor for which is a social network made specifically for Christians, by Christians, to directly fulfill Christian’s needs. We embarked on this endeavor to offer the ENTIRE christian community an outlet to join together as one (no matter denomination) and better spread the good word of Christianity. has many great features aside from the obvious like christian TV, prayer request or even find a church/receive advice. We have emailed you because we have interest in collaborating with you and your blog to help us spread the good word. I look forward to an email regarding the matter, Thanks!

    God Bless
    |Hannah Bevills||

  14. Hey! Thought you may find this interesting. The Biblical Archaeology Review (BAR) online Reviews section is now updated and expanded, at For anyone interested in religion, archaeology, or Biblical studies, here are expert reviews of important books and other media. The reviewers are the top Bible and archaeology scholars from around the world, with affiliations at the world’s most prominent educational and research institutions. Their insightful commentary doesn’t only speak to the reviewed items, it also provides a deeper exploration of the topics covered in BAR, the only magazine that connects the academic study of archaeology to a broad general audience eager to understand the world of the Bible.

    Book and media reviews have been categorized according to popular topics:
    -Ancient Israel
    -The Bible and Biblical Figures
    -The Dead Sea Scrolls
    -Historical Jesus and Christianity
    -Archaeology, History and Culture

    Readers who are interested in purchasing items that have been reviewed can take advantage of convenient one-click ordering from or from Biblical Archaeology Review’s online store.
    The Biblical Archaeology Society was founded in 1974 as a nonprofit, nondenominational, educational organization dedicated to the dissemination of information about archaeology in the Bible lands. Biblical Archaeology Review is the Biblical Archaeology Society’s flagship publication. Every other month, a quarter of a million people read BAR to learn and to be entertained.

  15. Hi I would like to say I am really encouraged that a new christian bookshop, living oasis, has opened up. I think the vision is fantastic and I will pray for living oasis on a daily basis that they will indeed be a presence of God on the High Street. When people receive a vision from God, not everybody understands it, but thats ok, we must love one another and encourage one another and I want to encourage my brothers and sisters as they seek to serve christians and make the unsaved feel loved and accepted. I visited Edinburgh Living Oasis a few days ago and I was impressed by the variety of christian books, cds,gifts, etc that you could buy. The staff were very pleasant and helpful. I will definitely be supporting living oasis. I would encourage people to visit the shops and support this work, I believe it is truly from the hand of God. Thank you jesus.

  16. I am a retired journalist who has just self-published a book titled Spoofed and Spiked which is available as a paperback and e-book format at or Dr Michael Schluter, who founded the Keep Sunday Special Campaign and went on to form the Relationships Foundation, has described it as ‘an evangelistic tool without the cringe factor. It doesn’t just challenge spiritual complacency, it provides help for people who feel deep-seated guilt about something which happened earlier in their lives.’I had familiar problems in finding a publisher who would even agree to look at a first author’s efforts, Hence the decision to self-publish. I would love a Christian publisher to give it some consideration and/or someone who would review it. Please, could you point me in the right direction? The ISBN number is 978-07552-1221-7. In the hope that I might whet someone’s appetite, the story draws on details from a piece of investigative journalism for which I received a National Press Award commendation.

  17. Pingback: So you want to open a Christian bookshop? « The Christian Bookshops Blog

  18. Surfers may be interested in free bible study resources on This is in the form of bible studies on specific themes, and they seek to look at those themes across the Old and New Testaments.

    In addition there are 3 free downloadable books, as well as a more typical on-line Christian bookstore

  19. Book Review
    Flirting With The World – A Challenge To Loyalty, John White (Copyright 1982)
    Publishers, Hodder and Stoughton/STL Books, Bromley – ISBN 0 340 32474 0
    I found this book, of its time (1982), helpful, despite completely rejecting psychiatrist John White’s implied doctrinal position. His frankness about his own characteristics and explanations reveal his humanity which helped this reader to confront and refine some of his own attitudes. Issues he uses as examples to consider worldliness, such as homosexuality, personal acquisitions and activity choices are the sorts that cause conflicts and doubts both between Christians and between Christians and non-Christians.

    I presume he was writing for a specific audience: one that knows, for example, what is meant by terms like pre-mil and pre-trib. I didn’t but was sufficiently curious to search the meanings down from the Internet. At heart he writes about matters that help one to determine the difference between being ‘in the world’ but not ‘of the world’. The study and discussion questions that end each short chapter prompt reflections about how, with spiritual and human help, one might refocus one’s own life.

    I particularly appreciated the author’s stress on the importance of mutual sharing of all that we are in smallish groups: cells, house groups and such like, as part of our individual and collective spiritual growth and worldly contributions.

    In his introduction Howard Snyder explains how he believes North American 1980’s Christians had drifted into individualism and praises John White’s exposition of how we might overcome our drift to worldliness through our corporate lives.

    My regret with John White and many doctrinaire Christians is their certitude that grace and salvation require specific beliefs: the Bible is right about everything, homosexuality must not be practised, and all that pre-millennialism and pre-tribulation business!

    I agree with John White that at the core of a healthy spiritual life is openness to God, or whatever mystical power you recognise as being capable of human influence that can result in life changing positive renewal, and a desire that one might daily seek to carry out only what ‘God’ inspires and requires. We also perhaps need to explore these ideas within our families: that is indeed quite a challenge!

    Andrew Hatton 29th July 2011.
    (I am a 62 yo Quaker who lives in Essex, England)

  20. As my earlier post apperas to have been deleted by the self apointed censorship guru, I’ll try posting again the news of the shameful actions of STL (Not Trust Media….as they are definitely not to be trusted if these actions tell us anything) in making redundant yet another longserving and experienced representaive to the Christian trade…..namely, the well liked (according to Phil Groom; “Worth his weight in gold”) Roger Compton. This follows the departure of the well liked and very experienced Jonathan Paulton.
    It is hoped that the trade will make their feelings know to those at STL who have acted in a wholly shameful manner in letting go two worthy advocates of both the Christian Book trade and the Christian faith.
    Please post on the STL blog and make your feeling known and then vote with your wallet and go elsewhere for your goods.

    • Andrew,
      No one has censored or deleted anything – I think you will find you posted as Media Watcher last time and you posted here:

      Perhaps a sorry might be a nice gesture?

      Yes I can tell you are angry – possibly rightly so as I don’t have Roger’s side of the story as to how it played out – I was really upset when STL ditched my longstanding rep, Tim Alban, virtually without notice and since then I haven’t seen an actual rep from STL/TM despite asking – though I do get emails from Lawrie who again is a very nice person and whom I have known for a great many years, but it’s not quite the same – I used to see a Ritchie/Penfold agent too, I don’t see one of them now either strangely. So I can apprieciate how deeply sad this situation is.

      My prayers and thoughts are with Roger Compton at this time, I used to see him many years ago just after he first joined STL and he was always a wonderful person to deal with. His customers will surely miss him – I pray he soon finds new employment and a new peace and contentment. Redundancy is a painful thing indeed. My prayers are also with the remaining staff at TMD too and those entrustred with their care and the care of the business, may God grant them wisdom, compassion and insight so they may always do the right thing and understand the things that are done.

      • A HUGE sorry from me Phil…..I couldn’t fine the post and made a hasty judgement that you had deleted it for reasons unknown…..feel a complete idiot now….again, I’m truly sorry for pointing the censorship finger at you. Forgive me.

        As you say, yes, I am extremely annoyed at the cavalier way that STL have treated their loyal staff and want all who deal with this outfit to know about it and then send them a message, that it is just not on to sack staff with the experience and loyalty that Roger Compton has shown to them over the years.This employment practice of throwing people on the scrapheap, is NOT what you expect to hear about from a supposedly Christian company. My view is, if they really need to lose some people, leave the loyal foot soldiers alone and start with some of the (too many) management they have running their operation now who are causing no end of problems for the staff who have worked for them so faithfully and making their, hithertoo happy jobs, now a misery. As I said, i hope others will post on the STL blog ( and make their feelings known.

        • It’s always sad when redundancies occur. I don’t know if you have inside knowledge of why this particular person was chosen for redundancy but I suggest it may not be that TMD have acted in a cavalier way. You will see in another section of this blog that NCT have entered insolvency, if they owe a lot of money (which has been suggested), TMD may not be the only supplier tightening their belts.

          I just join you in prayer that those affected find employment quickly and God blesses them mightily

      • Hi Andrew and no worries, apology accepted; if there’s a lesson to be learnt, it’s don’t post in anger — if ever you (or anyone else reading) want to raise a query in future, just contact me direct, please: I don’t bite.

        Anyway, it’s good opportunity for me to highlight the site’s the Comments Policy. Here’s the introductory paragraph:

        The basic ground rules are simple, however: please keep your comments clean, polite and on-topic. Please remember that comments are conversation and comments that the blog owner or administrator (“we”) regard as abusive, inappropriate, off-topic or just plain snarky will either be deleted without notice, edited or marked as spam. Edited comments will normally be flagged accordingly; deleted comments will simply disappear.

        In the ideal world we’d never have to apply that, of course, but as Roger’s redundancy demonstrates, we don’t live in an ideal world — I too am appalled that he’s the one who drew the short straw on the reps team: he is indeed worth his weight in gold and was unfailingly helpful, always cheerful and willing to go the extra mile in my time at LST. STL/TMD are the poorer for his departure and I for one will be contacting them about this decision: my thanks to you for letting us know.

  21. Pingback: News Roundup: CLC Updates | Farewell to Fools | Jobs at BRF and Eden | Roger Compton leaves TMD | and more… « The Christian Bookshops Blog

  22. I would like to write a quick review to the book, GOD Tech: Mark of the Beast. Ive added a link to the website for the book below but it can also be bought on Amazon or Waterstones.

    GOD Tech: The Mark of the Beast by David John Jeffery
    Onwards and Upwards Publishers

    As the world approaches the year 2028 Christians have found themselves increasingly marginalised, a process that began imperceptibly some fifteen years earlier.

    This work of fiction is an exciting, yet worrying glimpse into a future where GOD is now a term to describe a fearful and controlling World Government, A place and a Time where dissent and freedom of speech ahave been completely lost. This book serves as a warning to complacency.

    This is a well written, fictional tale that could very easily occur now. It is set in a climate where the war on terrorism caused a third world war. This new war cause such devastation that the world would do anything for peace, even give up some of their freedoms. The controlling world government took authority on everything including religion. This is a story about a Christian family’s struggle to resist this government. It was a great read and would recommend it to anyone.

  23. No Ordinary View
    A season of faith and mission in the Himalayas
    Naomi Reed
    ISBN 978-1-86024-843-6
    Published by Authentic Media
    This book is the second of three in a series but they each stand alone. I was anxious to read it to find the answer to a question raised in the beginning of the first book: How did the writer get through the seventh monsoon?
    This book tells the story of the second term of three years in Nepal with three lively boys. So it starts with their arrival and ends with their departure. There is honesty about the challenges, beauty in the descriptions of the landscape, people and how the boys took delight in everything. I personally loved the colour photographs in the centre of the book. In the middle of incredible tensions the Nepalese Christians talked of inner peace and the need to worship because God is still God. It could be tempting to avoid a story about living in a time of civil war but the encouragement is that God gives treasures (glimpses of himself) in the deepest darkness. Many love to read of the real lives of others, perhaps because we are curious. In reading this you will feel like you are spending time with the writer and I hope that you too would feel richer for the shared experience.

  24. Heading Home
    My search for purpose in a temporary world
    Naomi Reed
    First Published 2012 by Authentic Media td
    ISBN 978-1-86024-853-5

    Home- the word itself is evocative, far more than the roof over our heads or where our life with loved ones is lived out. Here is a book that will make you think again about home which is after all closely tied up with our sense of identity and belonging. As the third in a trilogy, I did read it quickly the first time, to discover how the writer managed the adjustments involved. It raises the question of how we do support those who return to a place quite different to what they left. But a feature of each chapter is a thought provoking prayer which can be a very helpful way to pray into our own situations. There is honesty which could make the writer vulnerable but struggling with a sense of home is not unusual. There is thanks to God for his presence with us, to Jesus for all he has done and yes the final chapter does point us to our final home where there is no more sorrow, crying or pain. We are aliens and strangers in this world (page 153) we are urged to “live like there’s a day marked in red after which there won’t be any more chances and there won’t be any more longing.”
    Why ? We know that Jesus is coming again, However I love the sense of humour that shines through as in Chapter five (page29) when Naomi wore a skirt but her youngest son had not seen such a thing before.”There’s only one hole” he remarked “Does that mean you’ll have to hop?” I showed him. We laughed. And then we walked together down the street to the library hopping occasionally.
    So this book stands alone but also completes the story begun in the Seventh Monsoon.

  25. Exodus and Deuteronomy
    Text and contexts- reading the Torah from a world of perspectives
    Athalya Brenner and Gale A.Yee, editors
    Fortress Press Minneapolis
    A selection of articles grouped under three sections, between Egypt and Canaan, Leadership: Moses and Miriam and the law. The contributor was asked to give their own contexts while presenting their interpretation of a given issue. They come from scholars of widely differing cultures and backgrounds.
    It does what it says on the tin! You don’t have to agree with that one person who refers to the whole matter as myth or support the feminist views of another.
    Personally I love and am familiar with the texts discussed. I would not recommend this to someone new to the Bible who might find the different views confusing. It may be written by scholars but can be enjoyed by the ordinary person. It has taken me time to read as nothing is gained unless only one or two are read at a time. It is stimulating to meet people from different worldviews and listen to their views. It makes the reader consider their own contexts. We all respond to what we read and understand through our own filter of life experience as well as our journey with God. The view of slavery made me wonder what John Newton would have said if he had been interviewed after being freed as a slave. His faith would colour his interpretation as much as the Muslim who looked at what the Bible said. Studies of history of the time give insights into the background of texts although I would not assume that all people would behave in exactly the same way. I may have a totally different view of the same text but it made me think. I will pass it on to a friend.

  26. Life Everlasting
    Finding true fulfilment through the Apostles Creed
    Patricia St John.
    Eight short stories and each challenges what we may have assumed about part of the Apostle’s creed-to truly know the Father, believe in Jesus Christ rather than people, and believe in the work of the Holy Spirit when there is little evidence.
    There are practical thoughts on living out forgiveness in difficult situations and the possessions here and life everlasting. The final poignant story speaks of a poor, blind lady who took a letter signed by the nurse to a doctor and came back with spectacles and sight. It speaks of using the name of Jesus because it is through our faith in him that prayers are answered.

    Reprinted 2007
    ISBN 978-184550-248-5
    Christian Focus Publications Ltd (Scotland)

  27. Guinea Pig for Breakfast by Andrea Gardiner
    So where do people eat guinea pig? The answer is Ecuador. This book describes in detail the differences in culture as well as the conditions in a country very different to the UK that the writer comes from. Clearly as a doctor certain cultural practices were not acceptable or helpful but huge adjustments were made as she married and had a child in this place. There are stories of tragedy caused by poverty but this is mostly about the difference that can be made one life at a time. If you are not interested in the huge practical needs that are faced by those living in Ecuador, you will not want to read this. But here is a person making a difference and it encourages all readers not to get weary but to keep on loving, helping and doing in order that God’s love will be shown. It aims to raise awareness of .the work of a number of charities. As a self published book it has not had the benefit of editing, errors have escaped proof reading so do not expect a well written book but something written from the heart. If you are concerned for the poor, if you want to widen your horizons, you will find a very readable book that will inspire you.

    Guinea Pig for Breakfast by Andrea Gardiner Grosvenor House Publishing Ltd
    ISBN 978—1-78148-580-4

    • Hi Lillian and thanks for this as well as for your other reviews: within the next week or so, I’ll endeavour to move them across into the reviews category as standalone posts — please keep them coming!

  28. A book will bring you into the presence of the writer, you can almost hear their voice get a sense of their brand of humour and yet be challenged and provoked to think.
    Not everything in our Bibles is inspired by Neil Rees published by Kingsway.
    This book first published in 2007 was passed to a friend who returned it unread and yes they missed something!
    I love the chapter titles and introductions to a subject but I also learned more than expected about translation and the history of the Bible we read today in an engaging way. Why read this? It clarifies much separating truth from tradition. The purpose of the writer is to bring us closer to the author, the Lord Jesus Christ and to know of His heart for a world that has not come to know Him. The conclusion is about obeying the parts of the Bible that we do understand and the last thing Jesus said to us was to go and tell others. Simple. The writer’s missionary bias is evident throughout. His prayer for the readers of this book is that they might have a similar passion for seeing God’s glory across the nations of the world.
    Where can you get this? Available on Amazon ISBN 978-1-848912-93-5

  29. Hi Phil
    I am an independent bookshop who has been asked to supply 30 copies of New Century Youth Bible 9780718027735 for a school. My search is telling me there is a reprint in progress. Is this the case?
    How soon could I receive the books if I place an order and at what discount? I ordered these books last year for the same school.
    Best wishes

    • Hi Sheryl – not an enquiry I can help with directly, unfortunately. It’s published by Thomas Nelson so you’ll need to either contact them direct yourself or ask one of their UK distributors: CLC Wholesale, IVP/Partnership Distribution or Joining the Dots. Please keep an eye on my distribution updates and/or join the Christian Authors, Booksellers & Publishers facebook group for details of any changes.

  30. Edible Bible Crafts
    64 delicious story-based craft ideas for children
    Sally Welch
    £11.99, ISBN 978-0-85746-243-5

    The first section has tips for organising, recipes and techniques. At first glance you might wonder why illustrated in black and white but all important information on the first page is the clue. The original purchaser can copy the pages for use in a teaching situation. Full colour illustrations are inside the front and back covers.
    The savoury recipes use vegetables, rice cakes, tortilla and boiled eggs. Cheese is used in various forms. The items are linked to Bible stories, however wells, boats, people even jars can be used for different themes.
    The flower from slices of cucumber or carrot looks very effective. I recommend it for anyone because these are easy to construct, do not need special equipment or cooking. So any group looking for craft can adapt these. It is a resource for church leaders.
    From brf

  31. Hi
    I have a book called
    An Outline of Faith by Ernest G. Braham
    It’s a 1931 First Edition.
    It’s a bit grubby and smelly but intact apart from a little bent over page.
    Do you know who could value it for me and who would be interested in buying it.
    Jacqueline McNamara

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