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Source: (consider it) Thread: Purgatory: "SPCK" bookshops
BroJames
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# 9636

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There was a thread about this last year, but I get "You have requested a thread that does not exist" when I click on the link that 'Search' produces, and I can't find it in Oblivion.

Basically it appears that SPCK may have withdrawn permission for St Stephen the Great to use the SPCK name for the shops, Dave Walker has the story here, and there is more background from Ruth Gledhill's blog and the responses posted.

It looks to me as though from a staff POV it has all gone horribly wrong and I am deeply grieved by this for our local SPCK manager who is a pearl beyond price.

What do we do as customers. I don't feel very happy at my purchases supporting the owners of the shops who appear to have behaved very heavy handedly, but if I don't support them then there is the loss of a valuable resource and the loss of the jobs that will go if the shops fail. For me at least part of the dilemma is removed by having for many of my purchases a much more local Christian book shop which also needs my support.

[ 15. June 2016, 18:44: Message edited by: Belisarius ]

Posts: 3374 | From: UK | Registered: Jun 2005  |  IP: Logged
J Whitgift

Pro ecclesia dei!
# 1981

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We're spoilt here in London having at least 4 top quality Christian bookshops:

- Mowbrays (inside Hatchards)
- Church House Book Shop, Westminster
- SPCK, Westminster
- St. Paul's bookshop, Westminster Cathedral.

However, this is going to be a blow for smaller towns/cities where it's the only descent academic Christian retailer. (I'm discounting Wesley Owen under that heading because they tend not to sell academic books or Catholic/Orthodox material.)

Having just looked at the SPCK online website St. Stephen the Great Charitable Trust are certainly playing up their Orthodox links. In particular note that there's now a 'top 10 Orthodox books' at the top right-hand side of the page and various links to St Stephen's.

Whilst I prefer Church House bookshop to the SPCK one, I like their secondhand books section and their eclectic mix of titles. It will be a huge blow if the Orthodox link turns the bookshops into ones which simply sell Orthodox material. It will leave Anglicans and other denominations high and dry in terms of bookselling resources. Whether this will actually happen remains to be seen, but it can't help if SPCK remove their sponsorship of the shops. [Frown]

--------------------
On the issue of homosexuality the Liberals have spent their time thinking, considering and listening (in the spirit of the Windsor process), whereas Conservative Anglicans have used the time to further dig their feet in and become more intransigent.

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Matrix
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quote:
Originally posted by J Whitgift:
We're spoilt here in London having at least 4 top quality Christian bookshops:

- Mowbrays (inside Hatchards)
- Church House Book Shop, Westminster
- SPCK, Westminster
- St. Paul's bookshop, Westminster Cathedral.

However, this is going to be a blow for smaller towns/cities where it's the only descent academic Christian retailer. (I'm discounting Wesley Owen under that heading because they tend not to sell academic books or Catholic/Orthodox material.)

Having just looked at the SPCK online website St. Stephen the Great Charitable Trust are certainly playing up their Orthodox links. In particular note that there's now a 'top 10 Orthodox books' at the top right-hand side of the page and various links to St Stephen's.

Whilst I prefer Church House bookshop to the SPCK one, I like their secondhand books section and their eclectic mix of titles. It will be a huge blow if the Orthodox link turns the bookshops into ones which simply sell Orthodox material. It will leave Anglicans and other denominations high and dry in terms of bookselling resources. Whether this will actually happen remains to be seen, but it can't help if SPCK remove their sponsorship of the shops. [Frown]

Whilst I agree that Wesley Owen don't stock a huge number of Academic textbooks, they are certainly there. Although my nearest one, Bromley, may be an exception to the norm.

I do know they are great at ordering, although this does remove the pleasure of browsing.

The idea that anglicans wpould be left high and dry is false, the full range of devotional resources are there too. As are a goodly number of Catholic titles.

It seems a bit easy to have a pop at W.O. becuase they are big, and do stock popular titles and stacks of trashy paperbacks that will be forgotten as almost as soon as they are put down. But the realities of the economics of the UK Christian bookshop scene is that they need to sell the large amounts of cheesy trash in order to sustain a ministry to the more thoughtful reader.

M

Regards
M
An often happy W.O shopper.

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Maybe that's all a family really is; a group of people who miss the same imaginary place. - Garden State

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Manipled Mutineer
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The SSG appears to have already decreed that the secondhand trade will end, which (being a tightwad) kills my main motivation for going in there. We have already seen, I understand, the Bristol shop selling off its secondhand stock, the Cardiff shop is no longer buying or (I understand) accepting donations and has given its unshelved stock away, and Chester was having a massive half-price sale whilst I was there* and advised that they had been instructed that secondhand sales were to stop. Other than that the main changes I have seen locally are a loss of a lot of the old faces, including the manager, a (to my mind) rather unattractive reorganisation of the shop layout and a small increase in the amount of Orthodox materials on sale. I'm pleased by the latter, and can live with the reorganisation, but the apparent loss of staff saddens me greatly.


*not that I am complaining about this, you understand

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Collecting Catholic and Anglo-
Catholic books


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J Whitgift

Pro ecclesia dei!
# 1981

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quote:
Originally posted by Matrix:
... The idea that anglicans wpould be left high and dry is false, the full range of devotional resources are there too. As are a goodly number of Catholic titles ...

Not in my experience they're not, or if they are they're well hidden. They don't even buy in the Church Times or the Tablet, but they do stock the Church of England Newspaper. [Disappointed]

quote:
It seems a bit easy to have a pop at W.O. becuase they are big, and do stock popular titles and stacks of trashy paperbacks that will be forgotten as almost as soon as they are put down. But the realities of the economics of the UK Christian bookshop scene is that they need to sell the large amounts of cheesy trash in order to sustain a ministry to the more thoughtful reader.
The trouble is that with the death of the SPCK* we're going to have to wade through the dross to find the rare pearls. I don't go into WO because, as a thoughtful reader there's nothing in there which could possibly attract my interest. I don't see that I should have to wade, knee deep through Left Behind novels just to find a copy of the latest Rowan Williams book. Most people just won't bother, or use online bookshops instead.

quote:
Originally posted by Manipled Mutineer:
The SSG appears to have already decreed that the secondhand trade will end, which (being a tightwad) kills my main motivation for going in there.

That's appalling! I bought the Parker Society 3 volume set of 'the Works of John Whitgift' for £60 a few years ago. I can't imagine that I'd find another set for love or money.

* Okay, I appreciate that may be slightly over stated, but only slightly. [Biased]

--------------------
On the issue of homosexuality the Liberals have spent their time thinking, considering and listening (in the spirit of the Windsor process), whereas Conservative Anglicans have used the time to further dig their feet in and become more intransigent.

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Manipled Mutineer
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quote:
Originally posted by J Whitgift:
quote:
Originally posted by Manipled Mutineer:
The SSG appears to have already decreed that the secondhand trade will end, which (being a tightwad) kills my main motivation for going in there.

That's appalling! I bought the Parker Society 3 volume set of 'the Works of John Whitgift' for £60 a few years ago. I can't imagine that I'd find another set for love or money.


Indeed; it used to be that, when I went around the country's cathedral cities in the train of my wife's choir, the first thing I would do was find and visit the local SPCK, not to mention the happy lunch times spent browsing...

I think I will still go in to the local one, but probably no more often than I go into the local Catholic Truth Society at the moment, ow that the main draw is gone. Very sad.

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Collecting Catholic and Anglo-
Catholic books


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Karl: Liberal Backslider
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Sic inquit Matrix:

quote:
It seems a bit easy to have a pop at W.O. becuase they are big, and do stock popular titles and stacks of trashy paperbacks that will be forgotten as almost as soon as they are put down. But the realities of the economics of the UK Christian bookshop scene is that they need to sell the large amounts of cheesy trash in order to sustain a ministry to the more thoughtful reader.

This is a point which deserves some attention. If it's true, it's very, very sad. I suspect it is true, what's worse.

But think what it means. It means that in the main, UK Christians are having their reading needs taken care of by trashy, pop paperbacks with more screwed-up theology than you'll find in the paper recycling bins outside a vicar factory.

I'm not sure which is worse. Thick con-evo systematic theologies which prove that God shows his love for the human race by torturing most of it for eternity in Hell*, or "God healed my hamster".

*Deliberately distorted for a little humorous light relief.

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Might as well ask the bloody cat.

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dyfrig
Blue Scarfed Menace
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The bizarrely detailed instruction given to managers which Ruth Gledhill has published on her blog explains an event last time I was in.

The new manager was being inducted by someone high up in whatever systems they had, so I just busied myself noodling around as I used to do when Nick ran the shop. I'd given them both a friendly "hello" when I walked past the counter.

The manager broke off from what she was doing and did the regimented "Hello, can I help you" thing. Now, having visited America and know that there is this rather different approach to customer service there, I can see where these prescriptions are coming from, but they were actually far more offputting than anything. I was a regular, had already done the greeting things, and was clearly able to aim myself at the exact spot I was exploring, because I knew the place like the back of my hand.

The guy who wrote the letter strikes me as deeply distrustful of managerial autonomy - he wants to create a chain brand, not a shop. It really is rather sad.

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"He was wrong in the long run, but then, who isn't?" - Tony Judt

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J Whitgift

Pro ecclesia dei!
# 1981

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quote:
Originally posted by Karl: Liberal Backslider:
...

But think what it means. It means that in the main, UK Christians are having their reading needs taken care of by trashy, pop paperbacks with more screwed-up theology than you'll find in the paper recycling bins outside a vicar factory.

Either that or we'll have to rely on the "Spirituality" section in the local Waterstones (bookstore) *shiver*. [Waterworks]

--------------------
On the issue of homosexuality the Liberals have spent their time thinking, considering and listening (in the spirit of the Windsor process), whereas Conservative Anglicans have used the time to further dig their feet in and become more intransigent.

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Manipled Mutineer
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quote:
Originally posted by J Whitgift:
quote:
Originally posted by Karl: Liberal Backslider:
...

But think what it means. It means that in the main, UK Christians are having their reading needs taken care of by trashy, pop paperbacks with more screwed-up theology than you'll find in the paper recycling bins outside a vicar factory.

Either that or we'll have to rely on the "Spirituality" section in the local Waterstones (bookstore) *shiver*. [Waterworks]
Borders stocks quite a nice illustrated book on Holy Cards, if that's any help...?

I agree with Dyfrig in finding the "greeting and offer of help" requirement unsettling, especially when I generally go straight to the section I want in the shop, and indeed had the reputation amongst the old staff of knowing the contents of the secondhand section better than they did.

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Collecting Catholic and Anglo-
Catholic books


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Karl: Liberal Backslider
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quote:
Originally posted by J Whitgift:
quote:
Originally posted by Karl: Liberal Backslider:
...

But think what it means. It means that in the main, UK Christians are having their reading needs taken care of by trashy, pop paperbacks with more screwed-up theology than you'll find in the paper recycling bins outside a vicar factory.

Either that or we'll have to rely on the "Spirituality" section in the local Waterstones (bookstore) *shiver*. [Waterworks]
Oh yes. Two books on reading horoscopes, four on palmistry, two on your past life as a cat, and one on popular (i.e. not at all demanding) Buddhism.

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Might as well ask the bloody cat.

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Ethel Sludge
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Just been in to the relocated Bristol branch and it was horrid. The old order and atmosphere were gone, the tone of the stock was rather watered down and there were no fusty third-hand vestments drooping on hangers. None of the old staff, some of whom had been there for decades were apparent. There was nobody expostulating that "my dear, he had no idea how to lay up an altar" from behind a bookshelf and they were playing canned cheesy music. WO over the road felt almost comfortable, and I never thought I say that. Would that the old manager in the brocade waistcoat could return to restore order.
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Carys

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quote:
Originally posted by Manipled Mutineer:
I agree with Dyfrig in finding the "greeting and offer of help" requirement unsettling, especially when I generally go straight to the section I want in the shop, and indeed had the reputation amongst the old staff of knowing the contents of the secondhand section better than they did.

I've not been into our local branch that recently, but I agree that an `automated' greeting and offer of help would be very annoying. It's falsely personal. It used to be the case that I knew a number of the staff who were in there and would often have quite a chat with them but that's very different from being offered help as though I'm incapable of browsing on my own. I had noticed that the staff has changed considerable recently (June/July) with some of those I knew quite well not being around anyone. I happen to know one of the new staff anyway, but it feels different. The good thing is that they are now open on a Saturday.

Unfortunately our branch has other problems because the council has changed the parking system from vouchers (purchased from shops such as SPCK) to meters (on the street) which has not only taken away that source of income but also the sales to people who pop in for a voucher and then see what the shop sells.

Carys

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O Lord, you have searched me and know me
You know when I sit and when I rise

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leo
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Yes, the new Bristol shop is horrible - no space for much stock and secondhand stuff all gone.

A friend wanted to order an Affirming Catholicism book and was told that it was against their policy.

Our church is going to have a bookstall with sale or return items from Wesley Owen - apparently they see the impending likely collapse of SPCK and want to widen their range to include liberal and scholarly stuff.

I have shopped in SPCK for nearly 40 years and must have spent thoudsands of pounds. Amazon will get my custom now.

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My Jewish-positive lectionary blog is at http://recognisingjewishrootsinthelectionary.wordpress.com/
My reviews at http://layreadersbookreviews.wordpress.com

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J Whitgift

Pro ecclesia dei!
# 1981

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quote:
Originally posted by leo:
A friend wanted to order an Affirming Catholicism book and was told that it was against their policy.

That's what I find worrying. I can understand a shop changing hands, and whilst I might be uncomfortable with a change of name, that can be overcome in time. However, to deliberately refuse to stock a book because 'it's against our policy' opens up all sorts of issues.

That said, I think I might pop along to SPCK Westminster tomorrow to see what's going cheap on the secondhand shelves. There was a rather nice book of Elizabethan Homilies for sale, which looked rather good ... even better on my bookshelf. [Biased]

--------------------
On the issue of homosexuality the Liberals have spent their time thinking, considering and listening (in the spirit of the Windsor process), whereas Conservative Anglicans have used the time to further dig their feet in and become more intransigent.

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dj_ordinaire
Host
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Our local SPCK managers - like it seems, everybody else's - have been going through a horrid, horrid time. The fundamental problem seems to be that they are expected to justify themselves by making big profits on book-sales, whilst only being allowed to stock 'approved' texts. These things are frankly not compatible.

(Rabbi Lionel Blue is verboten too apparently...)

If this is set to change it can only be a good thing.

--------------------
Flinging wide the gates...

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ken
Ship's Roundhead
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quote:
Originally posted by Karl: Liberal Backslider:
Deliberately distorted for a little humorous light relief.

Naughty boy! You should now make up for it by going and speaking the truth in love to to Mad Geo and the other invincibly ignorant conservatives on the Hell thread about how Communists are specially bad because they won't own up to torturing their pets. (Deliberately distorted for a little humorous light relief.)

[ 01. November 2007, 17:51: Message edited by: ken ]

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Ken

L’amor che move il sole e l’altre stelle.

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Chorister

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I used to buy books at the Exeter SPCK (and get served by Starbelly before I knew who he was on the ship - freaky!). But now I prefer Buckfast Abbey bookshop.

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Retired, sitting back and watching others for a change.

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Manipled Mutineer
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quote:
Originally posted by J Whitgift:
quote:
Originally posted by leo:
A friend wanted to order an Affirming Catholicism book and was told that it was against their policy.

That's what I find worrying. I can understand a shop changing hands, and whilst I might be uncomfortable with a change of name, that can be overcome in time. However, to deliberately refuse to stock a book because 'it's against our policy' opens up all sorts of issues.

That said, I think I might pop along to SPCK Westminster tomorrow to see what's going cheap on the secondhand shelves. There was a rather nice book of Elizabethan Homilies for sale, which looked rather good ... even better on my bookshelf. [Biased]

I'll have any pre-VII Catholic or Anglo-Catholic stuff you don't want, and a copy of the Parson's Handbook for Ken. Just pop it on my account.

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Collecting Catholic and Anglo-
Catholic books


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daisymay

St Elmo's Fire
# 1480

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quote:
Originally posted by leo:
Yes, the new Bristol shop is horrible - no space for much stock and secondhand stuff all gone.

A friend wanted to order an Affirming Catholicism book and was told that it was against their policy.

Our church is going to have a bookstall with sale or return items from Wesley Owen - apparently they see the impending likely collapse of SPCK and want to widen their range to include liberal and scholarly stuff.

I have shopped in SPCK for nearly 40 years and must have spent thoudsands of pounds. Amazon will get my custom now.

The Wesley Owen that used to be in Wigmore Street has closed down. How many problems are they all having?

--------------------
London
Flickr fotos

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Lietuvos Sv. Kazimieras
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# 11274

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For some reason, I thought Church House bookshop in Westminster was closing or relocating (???).
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Pokrov
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# 11515

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quote:
Originally posted by Chorister:
I used to buy books at the Exeter SPCK (and get served by Starbelly before I knew who he was on the ship - freaky!). But now I prefer Buckfast Abbey bookshop.

Agreed! Our family holidays to the South Hams (in laws have a pied-a-terre in Kingsbridge) aren't complete without a trip to Buckfast Abbey bookshop (and a look at the 'big Jesus' window - as our eldest daughter calls it!).

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Most Holy Theotokos pray for us!

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Gamaliel
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I can't say too much because I know a bit about what's been going on behind the scenes and wouldn't want to drop my moles in trouble ... [Ultra confused]

It's all very sad. [Frown]

I suspect SPCK will go the way of all flesh ... but that may have been inevitable before the new management shindig. This may only prolong the inevitable.

If this does happen then Wesley Owen may become broader and more 'catholic' in its coverage. It's easy to knock WO but take a lot at some of the independent Christian bookshops that still exist. Some of them are truly bizarre - although I remember one in Huddersfield which had a goodly range of stock from across the spectrum but suffered from neck-breaking, torturous steps down into it from the front door.

How it continued was beyond me, but it certainly met a need.

I won't name names but here in semi-rural Cheshire we're served by fruit-cake outfits that don't seem to stock anything that isn't by Nicky Gumbel. Cathedral bookstalls remain a safer bet.

Gamaliel

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Let us with a gladsome mind
Praise the Lord for He is kind.

http://philthebard.blogspot.com

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Fool on Hill
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# 12183

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I love going into bookshops, especially second hand.

London also used to have (I seem to remember from longer ago than I care to admit) useful URC and Quaker bookshops (&Methodist too??)

All credit to Dave Walker for keeping the cause alive while others were looking in different directions.

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God appointed a worm that attacked the bush so that it withered.

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Peter Owen
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# 134

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quote:
Originally posted by Lietuvos Sv. Kazimieras:
For some reason, I thought Church House bookshop in Westminster was closing or relocating (???).

No, it's still there. What happened is that it changed hands last year and is now part of Hymns Ancient and Modern, the Christian charity and publishing company. You can read about it in a Church of England press release.

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Πετρος

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Carys

Ship's Celticist
# 78

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quote:
Originally posted by Chorister:
I used to buy books at the Exeter SPCK (and get served by Starbelly before I knew who he was on the ship - freaky!). But now I prefer Buckfast Abbey bookshop.

I was thinking about this thread as I walked home this evening and on the corner by Queen's St there was a bloke on a mobile phone who I thought was Starbelly, but I couldn't work out what he was doing in Cardiff.

I first met Edward Green in SPCK in Cambridge too where he was working at the time.

I think a lot of the problem for bookshops is that people just use Amazon etc.

Carys

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O Lord, you have searched me and know me
You know when I sit and when I rise

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Charles Read
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# 3963

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If you are passing through or live near Manchester, St Denys Bookshop in Oak Street is great - independent, well-stocked and free coffee on offer! Good for Manchester Diocese gossip too!

Haven't lived there since 1999 but I miss it dearly and always pop in when I'm in town.

Oh, and they have a small second hand section too.

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Manipled Mutineer
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# 11514

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Fortunately the christian bookshops around here also have secondhand sections, the drawback is that the selection on offer is generally less than gripping for one of my tastes. (The two Douai bibles I got from the shop in the Wyndham Arcade being the exception to this.)

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Collecting Catholic and Anglo-
Catholic books


Posts: 1533 | From: Glamorgan, UK | Registered: Jun 2006  |  IP: Logged
hatless

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St Denys is indeed a gem. I think it's the result of a previous, local SPCK management problem. Their location is rather out of the way. They used to be in the Corn Exchange before the IRA bomb. Oak Street is in an intriguing but out of the way area of the centre - good if you also have an interest in second hand LPs.

In Leeds we have a good bookshop in Hinsley Hall, RC diocesan resource/conference/office centre, managed by a former SPCK person, I believe.

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My crazy theology in novel form

Posts: 4531 | From: Stinkers | Registered: Sep 2002  |  IP: Logged
+Chad

Staffordshire Lad
# 5645

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quote:
Originally posted by leo:
A friend wanted to order an Affirming Catholicism book and was told that it was against their policy.

That's appalling, but not entirely surprising. SSG doesn't exist to further the aims of liberal Anglicanism, or liberal anything for that matter. OrthodoxWiki has an interesting entry.

Those in reach should come to Manchester where we have an excellent bookshop which has just celebrated its 25th anniversary as an independent Christian bookshop, founded and run, if memory serves, by former SPCK staff after their shop closed here all those years ago.

The way forward for other SPCK shops perhaps?

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Chad (The + is silent)

Where there is tea there is hope.

Posts: 2698 | From: The Backbone of England | Registered: Mar 2004  |  IP: Logged
Audrey Ely
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# 12665

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There does seem to be a decline in religious bookshops which also have a good range of academic titles. I miss Mowbrays' shop on King's Parade in Cambridge.

Also, when visiting Margaret Street in London I noticed the Mowbrays shop - which became Mowbrays in Waterstones if I recall correctly, is no longer there.

There is also a decline in good quality second hand theology bookshops. Those of us who buy books in Cambridge are well aware of this.

Thank you,

Audrey

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+Chad

Staffordshire Lad
# 5645

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Jezebel's Trumpet has a little snippett about it in today's edition.

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Chad (The + is silent)

Where there is tea there is hope.

Posts: 2698 | From: The Backbone of England | Registered: Mar 2004  |  IP: Logged
J Whitgift

Pro ecclesia dei!
# 1981

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quote:
Originally posted by Saint Chad:
quote:
Originally posted by leo:
A friend wanted to order an Affirming Catholicism book and was told that it was against their policy.

That's appalling, but not entirely surprising. SSG doesn't exist to further the aims of liberal Anglicanism, or liberal anything for that matter.
Yes, but it's not for a bookshop to self censor in that way. I'd imagine that they're going to do themselves a great deal of harm, long term, by taking such an approach.

quote:
Originally posted by Audry Ely:
... when visiting Margaret Street in London I noticed the Mowbrays shop - which became Mowbrays in Waterstones if I recall correctly, is no longer there.

As mentioned previously Mowbrays is now located in Hatchards bookshop on Picadilly.

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On the issue of homosexuality the Liberals have spent their time thinking, considering and listening (in the spirit of the Windsor process), whereas Conservative Anglicans have used the time to further dig their feet in and become more intransigent.

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Audrey Ely
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Thank you very much for informing of the re-location of Mowbrays.

I note some of the works of John Whitgift on Abebook site.

Thank you

Audrey

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ken
Ship's Roundhead
# 2460

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quote:
Originally posted by Karl: Liberal Backslider:
quote:
Originally posted by J Whitgift:
Either that or we'll have to rely on the "Spirituality" section in the local Waterstones (bookstore) *shiver*. [Waterworks]

Oh yes. Two books on reading horoscopes, four on palmistry, two on your past life as a cat, and one on popular (i.e. not at all demanding) Buddhism.
The Spirituality section of my local Waterstones fills an entire room and has hundreds of such crappy titles, as well as a huge does of pop psychology and self-help exploitation. But it also has an entire bookcase of Muslim books, quite a lot of Jewish ones (including Torah in Hebrew and translation) and it does have books by Rowan Williams and even Karl Barth. Shelves of Bibles as well. And the Oxford Companion to the Book of Common Prayer.

It probably has more shelf-space given to Christian books than the sad rump of Mowbrays in a cupboard at the back down the stairs in Piccadilly.

Not a place to buy lectionaries though.

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Ken

L’amor che move il sole e l’altre stelle.

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Pokrov
Shipmate
# 11515

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This is a deeply sad story.

Having done some internet searching it appears that SSG Charitable trust is the 'brain child' of the Brewer family (from Texas USA) and, although trying to promote 'Orthodoxy', appears to have no support or blessing from the canonical church it seeks to represent.

The Church times article makes it clear that even one of the congregations they were working with have withdrawn from working with Mark Brewer, so it appears that SSG is an unaccountable ministry of a family who just happen to also BE Orthodox (and whose behaviour it appears is totally contrary to the churches mindset).

Very, very sad - but important to see that this isn't representative of an aggressive Orthodox 'take over' of a much loved institution.

Really the SPCK Trustees should have done their homework and saw this coming and I would 'blame' them for dumping their trusted staff in the hands of a group who have acted in the way they have. Just because something is done in the name of the 'Orthodox Church', doesn't automatically mean it's actually a ministry of said same canonical church.

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Most Holy Theotokos pray for us!

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Manipled Mutineer
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# 11514

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quote:
Originally posted by Saint Chad:
Jezebel's Trumpet has a little snippett about it in today's edition.

I note from the article that:

quote:
SSG said that it was no longer carrying the SPCK name because “more and more SPCK books [are] carrying a decidedly ‘liberal’ agenda”. Its trustees “feel the time has come to distance themselves from SPCK”.
I'm very impressed by the fact that in precisely one year the SPCK has moved from a presumably worthy partner to a purveyor of unspeakable liberalism. The publishing arm must really have been working overtime to achieve that one.

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Collecting Catholic and Anglo-
Catholic books


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dyfrig
Blue Scarfed Menace
# 15

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It does all sound a bit odd - if you click through to the News of the Church's original article on Sunday opening, you'll find a hilarious misapplication by SSG of an old church canon to justify it.

Is this family essentially trying to import into Orthodoxy the business success (and huge profits) of the American Evangelical publishing industry?

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"He was wrong in the long run, but then, who isn't?" - Tony Judt

Posts: 6917 | From: pob dydd Iau, am hanner dydd | Registered: Apr 2001  |  IP: Logged
Pokrov
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dyfrig,

My thoughts exactly. I think I've found a link between the Brewers and the parish church of St Joseph in Houston Texas - part of the antiochian archdiocese.

Are the Brewers evangelical converts to Orthodoxy, bringing in modern church growth thinking?

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Most Holy Theotokos pray for us!

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J Whitgift

Pro ecclesia dei!
# 1981

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quote:
Originally posted by Richard Collins:
This is a deeply sad story.

Having done some internet searching it appears that SSG Charitable trust is the 'brain child' of the Brewer family (from Texas USA) and, although trying to promote 'Orthodoxy', appears to have no support or blessing from the canonical church it seeks to represent.

The Church times article makes it clear that even one of the congregations they were working with have withdrawn from working with Mark Brewer, so it appears that SSG is an unaccountable ministry of a family who just happen to also BE Orthodox (and whose behaviour it appears is totally contrary to the churches mindset).

I would be interested to know what the Orthodox members of the Ship make of this in particular (and the SSG more generally). Where's the good St. Bertelin or Fthr. Gregory when you need them!?! [Help]

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On the issue of homosexuality the Liberals have spent their time thinking, considering and listening (in the spirit of the Windsor process), whereas Conservative Anglicans have used the time to further dig their feet in and become more intransigent.

Posts: 2838 | From: Gone shoreside | Registered: Dec 2001  |  IP: Logged
Petaflop
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# 9804

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FWIW, this report lists their loss before eceptional items at £563K, down from £1030K last year. With many of the experienced staff gone and new staff on a different contract, I guess their staff costs will have dropped significantly too.

However, if they are also losing customers to WO and independents, it may not be enough.

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J Whitgift

Pro ecclesia dei!
# 1981

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This:

quote:
Originally posted by leo:
A friend wanted to order an Affirming Catholicism book and was told that it was against their policy.

Would appear to be against this policy (as stated on the OrthodoxWiki page on SSG discussing the takeover of SPCK:

quote:
Under the new arrangements, SPCK Bookshops will continue to stock a broad and diverse range of Christian books and resources.
Lets hope that they revert to that policy in future, otherwise I can't see a future for their enterprise as it currently stands. [Frown]

--------------------
On the issue of homosexuality the Liberals have spent their time thinking, considering and listening (in the spirit of the Windsor process), whereas Conservative Anglicans have used the time to further dig their feet in and become more intransigent.

Posts: 2838 | From: Gone shoreside | Registered: Dec 2001  |  IP: Logged
Manipled Mutineer
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I am afraid that my eyes glazed over in the attempt to read some of the memoranda posted on the Ruth Gledhill blog but didn't they refer to some sort of new stock control/central ordering system being put in place, and to an associated moratorium on orders being placed from the shops until the new system[s] were in place? If so, the reference to "policy" might be to this, rather than to a policy of refusing to stock AffCath books.

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Collecting Catholic and Anglo-
Catholic books


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Pokrov
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I have a friend who told me that the Brewer family are billionaires and so are unlikely to be running the book shop 'to make a profit'.

I guess the underlaying agenda is promote Orthodox books here in the UK, but the control freakery way they've gone about it is disturbing.

What would have happened if they hadn't taken over the SPCK chain? I guess the shops would have closed anyway.

I hear that other Orthodox churches have been 'warned off' working with the Brewer brothers re: property acquistion, so their aim to buy and 'install' congregations might fall flat (since any such congregation must arise from the canonical jurisdictions here in the Uk, all of which seem to be avoiding the venture).

This would leave them owning (and running) a chain of 'Saint Stephen the Great' Orthodox bookshops, which will stock core Orthodox texts.

Good, if you want a copy of Kallistos Ware's Festal Menaion, duff if you want a copy of Common Worship...

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Most Holy Theotokos pray for us!

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leo
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# 1458

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quote:
Originally posted by J Whitgift:
This:

quote:
Originally posted by leo:
A friend wanted to order an Affirming Catholicism book and was told that it was against their policy.

Would appear to be against this policy (as stated on the OrthodoxWiki page on SSG discussing the takeover of SPCK:

quote:
Under the new arrangements, SPCK Bookshops will continue to stock a broad and diverse range of Christian books and resources.
Lets hope that they revert to that policy in future, otherwise I can't see a future for their enterprise as it currently stands. [Frown]

That Wiki page must have been altered because there is no mention of policy other than:

'mission of distributing Christian literature.'

'continue to stock a broad and diverse range of Christian books and resources'

On SSG's own web[age it says, 'Under the new arrangements, SPCK Bookshops will continue to serve the broad and diverse SPCK customer base, and expanding the products that it offers those customers. '

Posts: 23198 | From: Bristol | Registered: Oct 2001  |  IP: Logged
leo
Shipmate
# 1458

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quote:
Originally posted by J Whitgift:
This:

quote:
Originally posted by leo:
A friend wanted to order an Affirming Catholicism book and was told that it was against their policy.

Would appear to be against this policy (as stated on the OrthodoxWiki page on SSG discussing the takeover of SPCK:

quote:
Under the new arrangements, SPCK Bookshops will continue to stock a broad and diverse range of Christian books and resources.
Lets hope that they revert to that policy in future, otherwise I can't see a future for their enterprise as it currently stands. [Frown]

That Wiki page must have been altered because there is no mention of policy other than:

'mission of distributing Christian literature.'

'continue to stock a broad and diverse range of Christian books and resources'

On SSG's own web[age it says, 'Under the new arrangements, SPCK Bookshops will continue to serve the broad and diverse SPCK customer base, and expanding the products that it offers those customers. '

Posts: 23198 | From: Bristol | Registered: Oct 2001  |  IP: Logged
starbelly
but you can call me Neil
# 25

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I was one of the staff who resigned from the Exeter shop, and am so glad I did so! I have lost all energy and motivation to explain all the strange and awful things that happened to the shops since SSG took over, but i am glad to be out of it!

I would personally say that you should not give any money to these people, instead have a look at Anglican Shop, which is run by a splendid ex SPCK manager, or your local Wesley Owen, despite getting bad press they are suprising open to getting any book from a Christian publisher you wish, and the conversations with staff and customers can be fun too! [Biased]

And a note of encouragement to all SPCK/ex-SPCK staff, there is life after books...

Posts: 6009 | From: High Wycombe, Buckinghamshire. | Registered: May 2001  |  IP: Logged
leo
Shipmate
# 1458

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I have had a downer on Wesley Owen but my church has agreed to run a sale/return bookstall and they have agreed and said that they want to stock a more 'liberal Anglican' range.

Let's support them - otherwise specialist Christian bookshops will disappear.

Posts: 23198 | From: Bristol | Registered: Oct 2001  |  IP: Logged
Jengie jon

Semper Reformanda
# 273

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quote:
Originally posted by starbelly:
I would personally say that you should not give any money to these people, instead have a look at Anglican Shop, which is run by a splendid ex SPCK manager, or your local Wesley Owen, despite getting bad press they are suprising open to getting any book from a Christian publisher you wish, and the conversations with staff and customers can be fun too! [Biased]

Just to add there is in Manchester also St Denys which back in the 1980s won my families support, not least because it used to provide coffee while you browse. In flavour is was Academic and liberal, and may have had connections with Manchester Cathedral.

After them in Manchester it was Christian World for your mainstream Evangelical stuff but surprising good at Bibles (not just the Con-Evo standard versions), then and only then SPCK (with a toss up between CTS(described by a Roman Catholic friend as worse than Liverpool's) and Wesley Owen for fourth place). For a decent Wesley Owen you had to go to Stockport.

Jengie

[ 03. November 2007, 11:24: Message edited by: Jengie Jon ]

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"To violate a persons ability to distinguish fact from fantasy is the epistemological equivalent of rape." Noretta Koertge

Back to my blog

Posts: 20894 | From: city of steel, butterflies and rainbows | Registered: May 2001  |  IP: Logged
Pyx_e

Quixotic Tilter
# 57

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It would be funny if peoples livelihoods and careers were not being toyed with. I was looking for something and popped into an SPCK (not my local) and was told to get it off the internet!!!??? So this is what an orthodox take over really looks like

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It is better to be Kind than right.

Posts: 9778 | From: The Dark Tower | Registered: May 2001  |  IP: Logged



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