Daily Archives: September 27, 2008

Lies, Damned Lies and St Stephen the Great

Phil Groom writes:

Or perhaps that should be “St Stephen the Grate”, because it’s a name that’s really beginning to grate on my ears…

The last time I used that headline, I put a question mark on the end. Today, judging from Matt Wills’ posting of the notice below, which he spotted in the window of the Salisbury shop this week, it’s clear that there’s no question whatsoever — we are dealing with blatant lies:

'Make it happen...'

SSG Salisbury: Make it happen...

Make it happen – volunteer with the UK’s most successful Church and Bookshop Charity. – Saint Stephen the great/SPCK bookshops. 

Looking for an exciting and interesting way to make a difference in promoting Christian Knowledge and the saving of our Christian heritage within our Churches? Whatever your interests or skills, we would love to have you be involved..

Learn new skills, meet new people, and work right at the heart of amazing buildings and locations. And not only work, but be involved in missionary work right in your own back yard.. Just imagine what you could do

Indeed. Just imagine what you could do. You could follow the company’s instructions to lie to your customers: you could use Third Space Books to process customer orders in direct violation of Amazon’s terms for affiliates: you could turn what few books you have in stock face-out on the shelves in an attempt to hide the gaps because you can’t actually order anything: you could offer customers discounts if they’ll fill in gift aid forms: you could work single-handed without being allowed to sit down whilst on duty: you could get an email telling you that SSG has been dissolved but, since you’re a volunteer, that won’t worry you… oh, yes, and you could try cleaning the windows: Philip Brewer’s pretty hot on window cleaning, and if Matt’s photo is anything to go by (zoom in here) those windows in Salisbury could certainly do with it… and, of course, you could pretend that you’re working for SPCK.

Yes, fantastic opportunity: if you’re a wolf in sheep’s clothing. But please don’t help the Brewers bring Christian bookselling or the church into any further disrepute: they’re doing a fine enough job of that in Durham.

Mark Brewer: I’m sure you’ll read this in due course. That may not be your fingerprint embedded in that blob of blu-tack holding that notice in the window. But your fingerprints are all over this sorry mess that you’ve made of the SPCK bookshops. Yes, we know they weren’t perfect, that changes were needed; the staff knew that and they knew that their jobs were on the line if they didn’t pull it together. But you and your brother went in like bulls into a china shop, completely clueless about even the basics of bookselling, completely lacking in anything even remotely resembling people skills — and you dare to call other people to serve as ‘missionaries’?? On behalf of Orthodoxy???

A while back you threatened me with legal action if I didn’t take down that earlier report bearing this report’s title. It’s tempting, very tempting, to hit back with similar threats in response to the allegations you made against me in that correspondence. But instead, I offer you some simple advice: take down that silly notice.

And hand the shop over to someone capable of running it rather than ruining it. Give it to them as it was given to you.

Thank you.