Living Oasis

Wesley Owen > Living Oasis | Shops Closed

Q&A: What Happened to Living Oasis? (updated 9/6/2012)

WITH THE EXCEPTION of Weston-super-Mare and Watford (now trading independently as Life WsM and Storehouse Watford respectively), all remaining branches of Living Oasis ceased trading in August 2011 when parent company Nationwide Christian Trust entered administration: see Nationwide Christian Trust Enters Insolvency (UKCBD News, 4/8/2011) for more information.

Insolvency notwithstanding, however, Nationwide Christian Trust has resumed trading and is operating a Living Oasis stock clearance centre at The Barn Shop, Epping, with over 5,000 items listed online via amazon. Flyers and notices advertising the shop have been circulated amongst local churches:

Christian Books at Bargain Prices: The Barn Shop, as advertised by Hertford Baptist Church, January 2012

Christian Books at Bargain Prices: Living Oasis stock clearance at The Barn Shop, as advertised in the Hertford Baptist Church Newsletter, January 2012

Archived Notes (last updated 4/7/2011)

EARLY IN 2010 a new company, Living Oasis, set up by the Nationwide Christian Trust, began an ambitious project to take on and develop up to 20 of the former Wesley Owen bookshops, listed below, that had not been taken on by any other party.

The project was greeted largely with enthusiasm but also with some scepticism as to its long term viability given its simplistic-seeming premise that the solution to the ongoing problems faced by Christian retailers was something more along the lines of a Christian coffee shop with extra facilities, of which the bookshop would be one aspect rather than the central point. Nonetheless the project pushed ahead and was successful in generating support from local churches and acquiring short-term leases on 19 sites, eventually being forced to abandon plans to reopen the Croydon store when another bidder secured the lease: Croydon Churches Forum: Living Oasis Update (29/09/2010).

Sadly, in early 2011, just a year after the project was launched, news began to emerge of staff lay-offs and shop closures, with the Inverness premises acquired by CLC in February whilst Aberdeen, Bedford, Belfast and Sutton were closed down in March. As the year has progressed, more branches have closed down:

As of the date of this overview (see above) the company has yet to provide any news on its own website and has not responded to requests for further information regarding its plans for further closures and/or future developments, leaving things in a state of ambiguity and uncertainty. Living Oasis Liverpool, however, have announced plans for a September 2011 opening, despite a current deficit of £20k.

Updates will be posted here under the Living Oasis tag as and when information emerges: UKCBD entries for all branches are currently under review and should therefore be regarded as provisional. Prospective customers would be wise to call ahead to check store status and opening times before visiting, especially if travelling any significant distance.

Aberdeen (closed down Feb 2011)
Bedford (closed down Mar 2011)
Belfast (closed down Mar 2011)
Croydon (aborted Sept-Dec 2010)
Edinburgh (closed down May 2011)
Harrow (closed down Mar 2011)
Inverness (lease acquired by CLC Mar 2011)
Leeds (“Phase Two” redevelopment)
Liverpool (“Phase Two” redevelopment)
Nottingham (closed down July 2011)
South Woodford
Southampton (closed down Mar 2011)
Sutton (closed down Mar 2011)
Watford (relocated Apr 2011)
Weston-Super-Mare (closing down July 2011)
Worthing (closed down July 2011)

News & Notes (most recent first) | All posts tagged Living Oasis | Shops Closed

14 thoughts on “Living Oasis

  1. Pingback: Day of Prayer #3 « The Christian Bookshops Blog

  2. I am disappointed at the Living Oasis Shops that are having to close down. However it is not down to the staff or the management of these shops, although some ‘christian business people’ will have something negative to say on that!
    No, in my opinion it is more to do with ‘Christian ministry’ (and don’t we all have one)? Oh yes we have!

    Each denomination have ‘their way of doing things’ which in itself is not wrong, however where is Chritian unity when it comes to our local Christian Bookstore?

    Every Sunday we will hear our minister/pastors preaching about ‘the local church’, and how we need to support it and tithe to it, commit to it, work your socks off for it, and yes we should. But you don’t hear all the same leaders saying much about the local Christian bookstore!


    Maybe because they have started their own wee book shop after their services where they sell books, cd’s of their own sermons or their cd’s of their own ‘favourite’ Artists from their own movements in other words, ‘their own ministries’!

    The other excuse that we as Christians give for not supporting our local bookstore is that ‘you can get it cheaper from other websites’ (and some of these sites are not even Christian).
    I have even heard it said in one church, “oh, we only support things that are going on in our own church!”

    If we can complain about prices in our local Christian Book store, how is it that we can run here and there to this or that meeting and pay up to £100 or more for a day conference or seminars and think nothing of it, and that doesn’t even include accomodation ar travel? Is it because this is ‘our ministry’ and we are told to support it if we are part of that denomination? Mmh! I wonder!

    We must not forget that the people who work in our Christian Book shops are Christians too, lets give them a thought

  3. Harrow Living Oasis ~ Facebook Announcement

    Sad news – We are closing down. We have tried to carry on – but the end has now come. Our last day of trading will be Saturday 3rd April. Thank you for the support you have shown us. We will miss you all very much but God obviously has other plans in mind for us.

  4. Pingback: Living Oasis Crisis Continues: Farewell to Harrow and Southampton « The Christian Bookshops Blog

  5. Pingback: Living Oasis Harrow: Message to Churches: Please pray… « The Christian Bookshops Blog

  6. I am so sorry to hear the sad demise of the two stores mentioned.

    I am praying that my local Living Oasis Store, based here in Deansgate, Manchester, which I do support, often, will gain more support.

    They really are trying their best, however their location (the same premises as the old Wesley Owen), to me is a problem. They are not situated in a great place, to attract new customers.

    I pray that they will find a more visible location soon and that they will then be able to open the Coffe shop which they closed down.

  7. Living Oasis Nottingham (facebook page post)

    Sad news, after 5.30 Saturday 2/7/11 we will be closed down. Living Oasis Worthing also finishing then. Heartfelt thanks to our customers for giving us so much support loyalty and encouragement. Please pray for there to be a Christian bookshop in Nottingham, pray for our colleagues at Worthing, pray for the staff of the remaining Living Oasis shops. Bless you.

  8. Pingback: Living Oasis Update: Farewell to Nottingham and Worthing « The Christian Bookshops Blog

  9. Pingback: News Roundup: 4th July is UK Independents’ Day | Cambridge Bibles publish first English Language flipback® | and much, much more… « The Christian Bookshops Blog

  10. Pingback: Farewell to Weston-super-Mare as Living Oasis announces yet another closure « The Christian Bookshops Blog

  11. It is a real shame that Ray did not follow through on the phase 2 of the shops.
    He was waiting for financial support from the churches, but the churches were waiting to see it working in reality before supporting the vision financially. If it was done properly like it had been promised, it could have worked really well.
    Of course if suppliers had been paid on time then they would have continued supplying the goods!
    If someone out there is wiling to invest a large amount of money and battle through the first few years of financial loss, it could work really wel

  12. Pingback: UKCBD News Roundup: The Changes, Clearances and Closures Edition | The Christian Bookshops Blog

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