Category Archives: Leicester

Good News in Leicester as Cathedral Square Relocation Plans are Confirmed

Phil Groom writes:

THE UNCERTAINTY that has hung over Christian Resources, the former SPCK Bookshop in Leicester, since the sad death of Peter Hebden (who was sole proprietor) has come to an end at last. The following brief announcement was posted to the Christian Resources Leicester facebook group on Monday 20th Dec 2010:

Christian Resources Leicester: WE ARE MOVING!

Christian Resources Leicester - WE ARE MOVING! We can now officially tell you that we will be relocating to a BRAND NEW SHOP next March as part of the new Cathedral Square Development next to Leicester Cathedral. More news coming soon....!!

In February, when I last reported on the situation in Leicester, it was hoped that the new premises would become available during the autumn of this year, but this was delayed. Although the bookshop itself isn’t specifically mentioned, this video, presented by Pete Hobson, Project Director, gives an insight into the development:

I have to say that for me personally it’s all very nostalgic: this was my school! That gym you see is where I had PE lessons and those upstairs rooms are where we had our science lessons, oh yes! And if you seriously think those little wooden knobs would stop teenage boys sliding down the bannisters, you were never a teenage boy!! And now — somewhere — the place is going to be home to Leicester’s leading Christian bookshop: bring it on!

Future Secured for Christian Resources (former SPCK), Leicester

Phil Groom writes:

Not sure how this slipped under the radar last year, but it did. Good news, however, for the people of Leicester as the Bishop of Leicester has stepped into the breach following last year’s sad loss of Peter Hebden. The following notice was posted by the Leicester Diocesan news service on 16/12/2009:


Since the recent sad death of Peter Hebden, sole proprietor of Christian Resources Leicester, there has been some uncertainty regarding the future of this popular and successful business.

As a result of conversations with Revd Cynthia Hebden, Peter’s widow, the Bishop of Leicester is now happy to be able to announce the clear intention of the diocese to relocate Christian Resources Leicester within the new Centre to be established in the former grammar school premises next to Leicester Cathedral.

It is hoped that this new Centre will be open during autumn 2010 when, subject to due process, the full transfer of the business will take place.

Some Related Posts (most recent first)

Leicester: One Year On

Phil Groom writes:


This weekend marks one year since the news broke of SPCK/SSG Leicester’s independence under a new name, Christian Resources:

Congratulations to Peter Hebden and his team on making it this far: here’s wishing them every success for the future! I invited Peter to give us an update and perhaps offer some advice for anyone else seeking to strike out by themselves. He writes:

All the best stories begin with “once upon a time” and end with a “happy ending”.  


Once upon a time there was a Christian bookshop in Leicester trading under the name of SPCK. It was a kindly shop with lots of friends and neighbours.  Then one day there was a sudden whoosh as the wind of change blew away the cobwebs, some of the books, some of the staff, and even…….some of the traditional ways of doing things. SSGCT had arrived.

Principles and goals were challenged, even one’s raison d’être was examined and tested.  Many changes were promoted, many implemented, some refused (I hate wearing a tie). The results were of mixed value and after a year of frantic activity the whirlwind of SSGCT moved off to other shores.

What was left was renamed Christian Resources in an attempt to re-brand, broaden the stock range and concentrate on core customers. The rest of the world looked on in partial disbelief, finding it hard to accept that there may yet be a future for an independent bookshop. The future would lay in resourcing Christians with many things, the printed word accounting for perhaps only 55-60 % of sales.

We at Leicester have been fortunate to have an accommodating landlord, patient financial backers, (we thank God we did not turn to the banking system), and most importantly helpful suppliers. The landlords were able to offer accommodation with a short term ‘get out’ aspect and within a couple of weeks all the major suppliers offered credit facilities. These credit facilities were crucial in helping us to bring the stock of new books and products up to sensible trading levels. I can not stress enough the value in both financial and encouragement terms of credit facilities in those early days as we rushed headlong into Christmas.

There was much to organise in the first few weeks bearing in mind that the deal was not struck until the 15th of October, just 16 days to takeover day (and a week of that was spent on holiday in Turkey).

Here is a basic tick box list for anyone with a desire to ‘step out of line’:

  • BANK ACC. Paying in & cheque books
  • CREDIT CARD facility
  • SERVICES, rates, electricity etc registration
  • ACCOUNTING procedures,
    Sales & purchase ledger systems
    Credit customer notifications
  • STAFF conditions of employment/contracts, H & S.

On reflection we are greatly blessed with the encouragement received from many quarters but take note you who may consider a similar step, the bottom line is that the customer is king. This means that if one doesn’t get the price ‘right’ then that good will which abounds on the first few weeks will evaporate as quick as the morning mist in spring. I have found  even the most loyal of customers don’t hesitate to use Amazon or go direct to a publisher or wholesaler if it suits. Remember nobody owes us a living, everybody has to find the best deal for themselves, not us.

As for a happy ending, well I am sure there will be one its just that I don’t know what it is yet, but I really do feel God will have a hand in it if I can just bring myself to let Him.