Updated 13/03/2011

Reopened as Living Oasis, Belfast in April 2010; news of closure emerged March 2011.

The Spires, Fisherwick Place, Belfast, County Antrim,
Northern Ireland BT1 6DW
Phone: 02890 321323

News & Notes (most recent first)

Opening Day Photos as posted on facebook:

Living Oasis Belfast: The Grand Opening (April 2010)

Living Oasis Belfast: The Grand Opening (April 2010)

34 thoughts on “Belfast

  1. As Deputy Manager of the Belfast store, I would just like to clarify that the staff here have not been notified of a closing date and are still continuing to trade in administration.

  2. If you find the cause = you will find it
    easier to find the cure

    You will NEVER find the answer untill you
    find the question
    Do YOU know the name of the person who
    caused this “MESS”?

  3. It is not important to find a person rather the core cause. Too often do we try to blame people for problems, instead of the overall cause and problem.

    It is like blaming the Devil for going to hell, instead of blaming yourself for not repenting from sin. Although the Devil was the proposer of sin, it is our charge to be redeemed of it.

    The will of God has indicated the shops to close, and in their places, new springs of hope have formed.
    I work in Christian retail in NI, it is not about people but all about God. That is not to say strong leadership and a keen business mind wouldnt go amiss, but if it is God’s will, we must accept the closure, it does not good to point fingers…not in this industry most of all.

    God Bless!

    • I’m not sure that God’s will is as clear cut as that, Karl — far from it, in fact. Lots of things happen that are contrary to God’s will: our job is to pick up the pieces and rebuild in accordance with God’s will.

      But as you say, pointing the finger does no good — unless we point it at ourselves as God’s agents for change: “Christ has no hands on earth now but ours…”

  4. Thank you for your VERY kind comments

    My comment was constructive

    I do hope that in the present climate
    that the new owners? can make this
    work the company that took over the Coleraine
    shop I suspect did not think that it would work otherwise they would have traded two shops in Northern Ireland

    The new owners will need to be very sharp and not to repeat the “past failures” of the previous owners/kd othewise they will end up in the same mess. The Faith Mission bookshops in Northern Ireland leave everbody else “standing” They are by a mile the main source of this type or product in this area
    The selection at WO was poor to say the least

  5. I understand that there is a shortfall
    of over 7.6 Million in the group that owned WO One creditor is owed £174 598

    This oufit must have been in trouble for a VERY long time and may have been trading when it was insolvent which I am informed is breaking the law

    Romans 13.8

  6. I understand that Ambassador Productions Ltd /Ambassador Publications has ceased
    trading ,with a long list of creditors

    • Yes – voluntary liquidation; happened a while back (previously noted by Andrew Lacey).

      I contacted their USA HQ, who said:

      Sadly, our Belfast based publishing house is a victim of the economic downturn. In addition to publishing books the company produced a monthly glossy magazine. However, advertising revenue has taken a real hit and between reduced revenue to the magazine, sluggish book sales, uncollectable debt and pressure from the bank this family owned company, after over 30 years has gone into voluntary liquidation.

      They also went on to say that the USA division is performing strongly and that a new business model more suited to the UK marketplace may yet emerge…

  7. I suspect that the the new UK company
    will be called Ambassador PUBLICATIONS Ltd

    I have been informed that the shorfall
    for Ambassador Prductions Ltd is C 500k

    It looks as if the” Belfast Boys” can not run a profitable business
    a profitable business

  8. Ambassador ‘shortfall’ as reported by Big Man is over-stated. The family who owned it are by far the biggest creditor.

    Ambassador Books and Media continues to publish out of Belfast, carrying forward a legacy of Northern Ireland based Christian publishing by Ambassador for over 30 years and also established in North America for 17 years.

  9. As a writer of Christian books, I would like to know what exactly Wesley Owen does with books which have been left with them for consideration. I had hoped to collect my 3 full-colour Evangelical Christian books from them, only to be told that they had been “destroyed.” My daughter tried to collect them (twice) shortly after they had been left in the Glasgow branch – but no one could tell her where they were. The manager told me later about their destruction. Incredible. I had always prayed that each copy would go out to the glory of the Lord Jesus Christ and to the extension of His Kingdom… Strangely, last week I received a beautiful letter about my first book from the Queen’s lady in waiting, while this week I am informed by Wesley Owen that my books are fit for nowhere but the bin…

    • Hi Elizabeth – I can’t speak for Wesley Owen, of course, but it’s not unusual for bookshops to receive unsolicited items: since most shops only have limited space available, anything considered unsuitable is likely to be disposed of in fairly short order if for no other reason than to reduce clutter. It’s a pity that you’ve had to discover this the hard way, but that’s life, unfortunately.

      But I wonder why you’ve left your comment here, now? Wesley Owen ceased trading in Belfast more than a year ago; and Living Oasis, which took over the premises, closed down in March this year. The few remaining Wesley Owen stores in the UK are under new ownership.

      Perhaps a little more research is called for on your part, both before leaving your books with people and before leaving comments about that?

  10. In this situation I didn’t just post my books to Wesley Owen randomly. I had previously been in communication with the manager, who asked me to forward the books – I called personally when I was visiting Glasgow. I was subsequently informed that the books could be collected as they would not be stocking them. By then, I was home again, but my daughter who is a student in Glasgow called to collect the books -twice. On each occasion she was told that they ‘couldn’t locate them,’ even though I was told that they could be collected. Later I was informed that they had been ‘destroyed.’ Why did I comment here? Because previous discussion refers to shop closures. I feel that this is such a waste (and very wrongful) to destroy Evangelical Christian books which have been previously used in outreach around Ireland. My husband and I come from differing backgrounds and our testimonies are included in the books. We feel that books (especially if they contain testimonies and many Biblical references) should at the very least be given away in outreach or given to a charity shop – not binned! To be honest I have found my experiences with secular bookshops very encouraging by contrast.

    • I could belive ANYTHING about

      Wesley Owen

      I had experience of KD in Belfast

      Selfish is the best word I can use

      • That’s the former Wesley Owen you’re referring to there, presumably, bigman … unless you’ve had difficulties with them under their new ownership, of course? If so, please see my response to Elizabeth below for current contact details…

    • My apologies, then, for my earlier response: certainly if the Glasgow shop said that they’d hold the books for collection then they surely ought to have done so, assuming that collection was within a reasonable time period. The situation does seem to have been very poorly handled and I’m sorry to hear that 😦

      If you’d like a response from Wesley Owen, I suggest that you contact them directly:

    • It’s important to ask a few more questions before casting judgement.
      1. When where the the books left, and how long it was that you left them there, and how long it was between your being informed that they were not going to sell them and your attempt to pick them up.
      2. Who was responsible for reviewing them… was it done in-store, or were they sent to head-office for inclusion in all stores?
      3. Finally did they really use the word “Destroyed” or the more open term “Disposed of”?

      I ask because:
      1. WO Glasgow has gone through a change of ownership. If the books were left under IBS-STL’s ownership, and attempted to be collected under Koorong’s ownership, then that may explain why they had to destroy it. The books were not “owned” by IBS-STL so would not be included in the sale, and since Koorong had no legitimate claim to them they may have had to be destroyed in the change over.
      Additionally, most stores, receiving Sale or Return books or review copies do so with explicit, or implicit “time” agreement.
      When my shop accepts a book on sale-or-return basis, our agreement basically says that if you don’t collect it within 6 months of the end of the SOR agreement, it’s full ownership passes to us. During that six months, we charge a storage fee of 10% of the RRP per-month, which comes out of any sales you may have made. EG, if we sold £100 worth of stock for you, but you don’t come back to collect the remaining stock, or invoice us for it, we’ll charge you £10 per month to store it, until after 6 months, it all belongs to us anyway.
      It may seem harsh, but it is necessary, we can’t act as a warehouse for other people’s books, if they aren’t selling, and as a small business, can’t afford for you to walk in unexpectedly, 18 months after we last sold your books and demand money out of our till, out of the blue.
      Additionally, if you were told that they would not be stocking it, and you waited several months before attempting to collect it, then it is unreasonable to expect them to store it for you indefinitely. During that time, it could have become damaged etc, necessitating the destruction of it.
      2. If it was for consideration on a per-store basis, then it is reasonable to expect them to look after your book for a while, however, if reviews are conducted at head office with a view to selling them in the entire chain, it is a little unfair to expect them to spend money posting it back to you at their expense. Head office may handle hundreds of submissions, and the general understanding is that books are not returnable. The only time they may be returnable is when you provide the pre-paid envelope to do so, but even then it is not a given.
      3. While words like “Destroyed” and “Disposed of” may sound interchangeable, they are often not. We use “disposed of in any way we see fit” as the wording of our Sale-or-return agreement, which, while it includes a provision to completely destroy the book (which we have never had to use, but would if we considered the book significantly damaging to the gospel), also allows us to dispose of it by selling it in store, selling it in a sale, giving it away as a promotional item or giving it to one of several charities we support which makes books and bibles available to the third world.

      I am not suggesting that you did any of these things, and the way the store acted may indeed have been inappropriate, especially if, as Phil says, they even implied that the books would be available for you to collect, however, all I am suggesting is that book review policies are rarely clear cut, and this situation may have had mitigating circumstances.

      One thing to consider is that suppliers and retailers often now accept ebook submissions for consideration (we certainly encourage it). This is a much safer prospect, as the costs are much lower (free after the initial creation process), and there are no actual losses if the company choose not to stock your books.

      I recommend ebook distribution in addition to traditional paper form, and wholeheartedly recommend a company called Smashwords to do it. They will generate ebooks for practically every device imaginable, and submit them to all of the major suppliers stores aswell (except Kindle, unfortunately, but if you follow their instructions, you can do that yourself). They do it for free, taking a percentage of the RRP rather than charging you upfront, and create very good quality ebooks automatically.
      It’s an aside, but may help you.

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