Phil Groom writes:
Just discovered this news report in the United Reformed Church of Wales News section. It’s undated, so not sure exactly when it was published, but fairly recent…
A new Christian bookshop is born
A new Christian bookshop has opened at City United Reformed Church in Cardiff. Readers of Reform might know that two years ago Britain’s oldest Christian bookseller, SPCK, turned over its chain of shops to a pair of American brothers who formed St Stephen the Great Charitable Trust to use the shops as a means of promoting the Orthodox communion here in Britain. The agenda failed to impress SPCK’s traditional customers. The religious press joined a community of bloggers in reporting staff reductions and shop closures toward the end of 2007. At the end of March SSG closed its Cardiff shop, located at City URC. In June they declared themselves bankrupt.
Customers and City Church members joined church leaders across Wales in expressing their concern over the loss of a shop like SPCK, the only Christian bookshop in Wales catering to broad, mainstream ecumenical interests. As City Church had originally taken in the SPCK shop fifteen years before, when they were no longer able to afford rising city centre rents, the church saw the shop as one of its mission responsibilities. The elders appointed the minister and church secretary to explore a way forward for keeping a resource like this available for the churches.
That exploration bore fruit with Churches Together Bookshop opening in late July, and on the first Saturday of September holding its “Grand Opening” celebration with a service of dedication.