Tag Archives: asingleblog

Chichester: The Door is Shut. Only Durham remains.

Matt Wardman writes:

These are two photos cross-posted from the ASingleBlog site. The former-SPCK Bookshop in Chichester has been closed on the instructions of the Charity Commission.

This is sad, and yet it means that – exactly as per the takeover of the SPCK-SSG charity by the Charity Commission Interim Manager – those trying to resolve this are now dealing with people of integrity, so we can at least say that Chichester is now on the way out of the swamp.

So the Brewer cash-generating, personal-expenditure subsidising, money-grubbing, supplier-swindling, staff-bullying, legality-avoiding (e.g., lack of required liability insurance), asset-stripping, and Durham Cathedral brand-poisoning, activities can now only be carried on in the Durham Cathedral Bookshop.

Every day that the Brewer-boys retain control of that shop provides a further opportunity for abuse.

Will someone in authority please finish the job?

Here are the Chichester Photos:



100,000 Pageviews… and Still Counting!

Phil Groom writes:

100,022 pageviews... and counting!

100,022 pageviews... and counting!

On Thursday 29th January 2009, one of you splendid people out there had the awesome privilege of experiencing our 100,000th pageview. Was it you? Did you capture that magic moment? I captured our 100,022nd as per the screenshot, right (though I was not actually the 100,022nd pageviewer: WordPress doesn’t count my visits).

This blog was launched on 26th June 2008, just over seven months ago: that’s 100,000 pageviews in 218 days, an average of almost 459 pageviews per day… just shy of one pageview every 3 minutes.

So, for the statisticians and the incurably  curious, I take this opportunity to present some more facts and figures:

All Time Top 10 Posts & Pages
(View Count as at 9pm, 30/01/2009)

 Durham  2,726 
 Steve Jeynes, RIP  2,258 
 About  1,170 
 “SSG tribunal claims mount”  1,065 
 Joy Jeynes: Please continue to pray for God’s work in Worcester  1,003 
 Rescuing Britain’s Christian Heritage: Durham Cathedral Bookshop   991 
 A Letter to Mark Brewer  989 
 Mark Brewer says, “Remove this page. Immediately.”  984 
 Philip Brewer says, “Immediately post this…”  899 
 SPCK/SSG: My Story, by Phil Groom  872 


The Upsy-Downsy Chart for the last few days

Pageviews 16.01.2009 - 30.01.2009

Pageviews 16.01.2009 - 30.01.2009

Busiest Ever…

Where Next? All Time Top 5 Destinations on Leaving This Site
(Click Count as at 9pm, 30/01/2009)

 iPetitions.com: Durham Cathedral Bookshop  1,113 
 Asingleblog  511 
 iPetitions.com: Durham Cathedral Bookshop: Signatures p.1   341 
 Matt Wills China Blogger  181 
 iPetitions.com: Chichester Christian Bookshop  180 


There are lots more stats available, of course: feel free to ask if you’d like more details on any particular page or post. Scroll down the sidebar for live updated lists of the current top posts and pages, pageviews and departure destinations.

Now, changing the subject entirely: let’s plan ahead for February. Who’d like to design a couple of Valentine’s Day Cards for J Mark and Philip ‘Dubya’ Brewer? Let’s show them some true blogger love and appreciation.

Pension Questions

Meeting Reminder 
2pm, Weds 10th September: Meeting between ex-SPCK staff and suppliers. See the Diary page for details…

With the attempt to file SSG for bankruptcy in the USA having been unceremoniously thrown out “with prejudice” by the Houston Bankruptcy Courts, the three new companies (Durham Shop Management Company, Chichester Shop Management Company and ENC Management Company) now — as previously suspected — appear to be nothing more than a quasi-legal smokescreen behind which the Brewers/SSG were (and still are, by the look of things) attempting to evade their responsibilities as employers (not to mention in other areas — for a reminder of what they said when the bankruptcy filing was announced see SSG files for bankruptcy).

In view of this, it’s probably the right time to revisit our earlier questions about current and former employees’ pensions, and the key question seems (superficially at least) fairly simple: what, exactly, is going on? 

Most information coming through is not first hand, but I’m told that the Church of England Pensions Board is either unwilling or unable to recognise the three new companies for pension purposes. When this takes or took effect is unclear, which leaves at least some current staff with serious concerns about their AVCs (Additional Voluntary Contributions) — if the money is being deducted from wages, where is it going?

I’ve also been told that those who have left the Brewers’ employment have still not heard about their pensions despite assurances that investigations are in progress.

When we asked what was happening back at the end of July asingleblog summed up the situation like this:

Moorepay pays current employees. A call to them revealed that when it comes to taxes and pensions, all they do is advise the employer how much they should pay to HMRC and the CofE Pensions Board.

Past and present staff need to take some action now. Should the Brewers pull the plug on their new companies, staff will need to know exactly what is owed to them even before they go to the union.

and further:

SPCK paid into a private pension fund for its booksellers. Booksellers had the option of “topping up” those pensions from their salaries. Many did. The Brewer’s promised to keep up the employer contributions. Those who topped up had the top up taken from their salaries. Seems that their “top ups” and their employer’s contribution has gone AWOL. To use a British expression that I’m sure you know well, “we was robbed”.

You’ll find more discussion of the issues in a couple of asingleblog’s earlier posts and in the accompanying comments:

The next question, I guess, is how to persuade the relevant authorities to take action? Suggestions or more information, anyone?

I have invited the Church of England Pensions Department to comment on the situation: if and when I receive a reply I’ll post it here…

– Phil Groom

Comments Now Open

My thanks to Phelim in particular and to everyone else who has continued to post comments here since Dave Walker found himself in too deep. Solidarity, Dave: you’ve done an excellent job over the last couple of years keeping us all up to speed: grace and peace to you.

This site remains open and comments are welcome, but please comment with courtesy, truthfully, responsibly and respectfully bearing in mind that if push comes to shove I may call upon you to testify to the veracity of your comments in court. This site is explicitly and specifically for news, notes and info along with related discussions: if you wish to post anything other than this, please follow asingleblog’s example and open your own blog.

Should you wish to import the contents of this site to your own blog, please download, unzip then upload this file*, but whilst this site remains open it would be best if you turn comments off on the uploaded posts, please, and refer your visitors to this site: far better, I think, if we can keep comments on the same post all together. As and when time permits, the file will be updated so that you can include the latest posts and comments: please bookmark this page if you wish to take advantage of this.

Thank you.

* Download problems? Windows users: right-click on the link; Mac users: ctrl-click on the link; then choose “Download to…” (or similar) from the pop-up menu. It’s a standard .zip file so should unzip with a double-click.

Still having problems? OK: link to the plain text .xml file below, but be aware that it’s bigger and will take a tad longer to download: spckssg.2008-07-28.xml — if it opens in your browser, come back and try the right-click/ctrl-click trick described above…