Christian Marketplace Reports on the SPCK/SSG Affair

Christian Marketplace, September 2008

Page Updated 23/07/2009

Phil Groom writes:

Figured it would be useful to compile an overview of the SPCK/SSG reports featured in Christian Marketplace magazine. Christian Marketplace and the Bookseller seem to be the only print media outlets that have continued running regular updates on the SPCK/SSG situation since Mark Brewer’s C&D threats against Dave Walker. This is in marked contrast to the Church Times, which seems to have allowed itself to be effectively gagged by the threat, a point recently noted by David Keen and Maggi Dawn. It certainly seems a little odd that the Church Times hasn’t risen to the defence of its blogger and cartoonist…

Fortunately Dave had already compiled an index of Church Times reports and letters before Mr Brewer went ballistic. But I’m getting distracted; here are the Christian Marketplace Reports, in date order, most recent first:

More closures at SSG bookshops
Following the intervention of the Charities Commission in May all but two of the original 23 bookshops acquired by SSG from SPCK in 2006 are now closed.

Major developments in the SSG Bookshops story
After a relatively quiet few months, May saw a number of major devlopments unfold in the SSG Bookshop saga in a very short space of time…

SSG Tribunal date set for May
Ex-employees of the beleaguered SSG bookshop chain (formerly SPCK Bookshops) moved closer to getting their claims against their employer heard with the announcement of the date for a preliminary hearing in May (11-13), to be held in Bury St Edmunds.

SSG Bankruptcy filed ‘in bad faith’
Attempts by the owners of UK bookshop chain SSG (formerly SPCK) to enjoy the protection of Chapter 7 bankruptcy have been thrown out by a US court…

Good News for Cardiff
On Saturday 6th September, Churches Together Bookshop in Cardiff officially opened with a service of dedication held in the shop lead by the Rev. Tom Arthur, minister at the U.R.C. City church…

Norwich bookshop re-opens
Plans are well under way for the re-opening of a bookshop and café on the site of the former SSS/SPCK Bookshop in Norwich…

SSG Bankruptcy delay could impact on Tribunal claims
A delay in the hearing of the beleaguered SSG bookshop chain’s claim for bankruptcy in the USA could have implications for the forthcoming Industrial Tribunal cases lodged by former SSG bookshop staff in the UK…

Hundreds gather to celebrate the life of Worcester bookseller
The magnificent stone nave of Worcester’s 11th century cathedral resounded to the praise of over 600 worshippers as the Christian community of Worcester and beyond came to give thanks for the life of ‘a much loved bookseller’…

SSG Shops pulled from auction
The four shops SSG Bookshops due to be auctioned by Colliers CRE in London on 13th May were withdrawn from the sale a week before…

Robust response from Brewer re SSG Bookshops turmoil
Responding to a request from Christian Marketplace for information regarding the status of a number of shops within the SSG (former SPCK) Bookshop chain, Mark Brewer, Chairman of the St Stephen the Great Charitable Trust (SSGCT) which took over the chain of 23 bookshops in October 2006, gave a robust response…

Quieter month at SSG? – No
Following the frenetic amount of activity in February surrounding the SSG Bookshop chain with shop closures, staff dismissals and shops ‘temporarily’ closed for re-fit, it began to appear that things had quietened down in the last couple of weeks…

Bleak month for SSG Staff and customers
Further developments at the SSG (former SPCK) bookshop chain have led to closures. During the first week of February the Cambridge, Sheffield, Norwich and Lincoln branches were closed…

SSG makes The Bookseller “flops” list for 2007
Writing in the 21/28 December issue of The Bookseller, the editor’s Leader column lists The Society of St Stephen the Great (SSG) as one of their flops of 2007…

More resignations at SSG bookshops
It was reported by The Bookseller.com (04.12) that staff at the Newcastle and Truro branches of SSG Bookshops have become the latest members of staff to resign from the business…

The SSG saga goes on
It’s rapidly becoming the ‘Fawlty Towers’ of the Christian retail trade in the UK. The way events at the SSG (formerly SPCK) Bookshops are evolving would probably stretch the imagination of even the most creative ‘sit-com’ writers…

SSG Bookshop in Leicester goes independent
The Leicester Diocese email news service reported last month that the former SPCK Bookshop in Bishop Street in Leicester was under new ownership from 1st November…

SPCK Bookshops staff resign
The SPCK Bookshops story continues with the news that all seven employees of the Exeter SPCK Bookshop have resigned in a row over new contracts. They terminated their employment on Saturday 13th October…

Concern rising over SPCK bookshops
A couple of months ago this magazine asked the question ‘Is it all bad at SPCK Bookshops?’ Well it seems it might be according to recent stories circulating in the trade…

New church and bookshop in Poole
The former St Osmund’s Church in Poole, closed in 2002, having been declared redundant under the “Pastoral Measures Act”, was re-opened as the Orthodox Church of Poole last month. The building was purchased in 2005 by Saint Stephen the Great Charitable Trust, the new owners of SPCK Bookshops…

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One response to “Christian Marketplace Reports on the SPCK/SSG Affair

  1. Pingback: Cease and Desist: 6 Months On « SPCK/SSG: News, Notes & Info

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