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2007 News Index (Most recent first)
Fund Launched to Support SPCK Booksellers (Wednesday, November 7, 2007)
Farewell to SPCK Bookshops? (Friday, November 2, 2007)
Defenders of Barracrail Nominated for UK Christian Book Awards 2008 (Sunday, October 28, 2007)
Palestinian Christian Bookshop Manager Murdered (Tuesday, October 9, 2007)
Cover to Cover Completed (Wednesday, September 12, 2007)
Salvation Turns Sour at SPCK... (Wednesday, May 23, 2007; updated 15/10/2007)
Wesley Owen: Hull Branch Closing Down (Wednesday, May 23, 2007)
Can You Bake a Cake? (February 2007)



Fund Launched to Support SPCK Booksellers
Wednesday, November 7, 2007

UKCBD has today launched a fund to offer support to SPCK booksellers who have found themselves unable to work with the shops' new owners. The fund has been set up with an initial donation of 100 from UKCBD.

Donors wishing to contribute to the fund should visit the UKCBD Save the SPCK Booksellers page where further information about the fund's administration is available. Any enquiries, offers of assistance or requests for help from booksellers should be addressed to Phil Groom, UKCBD Webmaster and Reviews Editor, who is currently administering the fund. "£100 isn't much," said Phil, "but David wasn't exactly big when he defeated Goliath, was he? The important thing is that I've set the ball rolling. Watch this space."

SPCK/SSG News Index


Farewell to SPCK Bookshops?
Friday, November 2, 2007

The tense relationship between SPCK and the Saint Stephen the Great Charitable Trust (SSG), which took over SPCK's ailing chain of bookshops just over a year ago, has reached breaking point.

A brief notice has been posted on the main SPCK home page noting that SSG run the shops independently of SPCK and "will not in future be using the SPCK name for these shops." For its part, according to a report in the Church Times, SSG has commented that "more and more SPCK books [are] carrying a decidedly 'liberal' agenda" and the SSG trustees believe that "the time has come to distance themselves from SPCK". A similar report in the Bookseller describes Bishop Michael Perham and Simon Kingston, who joined SSG from SPCK to help oversee the handover of the shops, as stepping down from their roles as SSG trustees due to "a conflict of interest" in their duties to represent both organisations.

It therefore seems that the SPCK bookshop brand is set to disappear from the UK as SSG rolls out its new trading name of "Saint Stephen the Great LLC" and focuses its energies on its primary objective of promoting Orthodox Christianity in Britain.

The shops have suffered under SSG's management to the point where many staff have felt unable to work under the new regime and have left. An advertisement for staff has been placed on the Orthodox Jobs website (download pdf). Until replacement staff are recruited, however, opening times, stock availability and levels of customer service appear to be in a state of flux and may not be as expected. Visitors to the shops would therefore be wise to phone ahead.

Previous shop descriptions are now being removed from UKCBD entries pending up to date information from SSG. Further news will be posted here as and when it becomes available.

Related Articles and Updates (Most recent first)
The Bookseller, 7/11/2007: Book chain drops SPCK name
Dave Walker's Cartoon Church, 3/11/2007: Durham Cathedral SPCK
Metacatholic, 2/11/2007: The SPCK saga and Texan "Orthodoxy"
Dave Walker's Cartoon Church, 1/11/2007: The future of the SPCK shops

SPCK/SSG News Index


Defenders of Barracrail Nominated for UK Christian Book Awards 2008
Sunday, October 28, 2007 Defenders of Barracrail

UKCBD is delighted to be nominating M R J Pike's Defenders of Barracrail for the UK Christian Book Awards 2008.

The UK Christian Book Awards, sponsored by Speaking Volumes, have been running for seven years and are scheduled for presentation in 2008 on Wednesday, May 14, at the National Christian Resources Exhibition at Sandown Racecourse in Esher, Surrey. There are three categories for nominated books, Biography (most challenging, life changing book), Christian Living (most persuasive, revealing book) and, last but not least, Children's (favourite children's book for 0-15 years), for which Defenders of Barracrail has been nominated.

This is how Phil Groom, UKCBD Webmaster and Reviews Editor, described the book in his nomination:
This is volume one of a promising new fantasy trilogy with a gripping storyline and fascinating characters. It revolves around Daniel, a teenage lad, his encounter with Elgin, a sentinel, and their adventures as they battle for the lost Treaty established by their missing king. Christian themes are clear but not explicit — a superb read for any young fantasy fan.


Palestinian Christian Bookshop Manager Murdered
Tuesday, October 9, 2007

The body of Rami Khader Ayyad, manager of the Teacher's Bookshop — the only Christian Bookshop in the Gaza strip — was found on a Gaza City street early on Sunday, October 7th. Mr Ayyad had been abducted on the previous Saturday evening; the exact circumstances of his death are unknown, but his body is reported to have suffered both knife and gunshot wounds.

The bookshop, operated by the Palestinian Bible Society, was severely damaged by a bomb attack in April this year but recovered sufficiently to resume trading.

Mr Ayyad leaves a widow and two children. Please pray for them, for all others affected by Mr Ayyad's death and for his killers.

• More Information: Reuters Report (Sunday, October 7, 2007)


Cover to Cover Complete
Cover to Cover Complete: Through the Bible as it happened
Selwyn Hughes
and Trevor Partridge
ISBN: 9781853454332
CWR, 2007
Introductory Price: £17.99
(£19.99 from December)

Read a Review
Cover to Cover Completed
Wednesday, September 12, 2007

Guests of CWR were given a red carpet welcome to Madame Tussauds in London this evening for the launch of Cover to Cover Complete: Through the Bible as it happened, the culmination of seven years of development. Cover to Cover was first produced out of concern that many Christians only ever read snippets of the Bible: very few, it seems, have read the entire book and consequently have no grasp of the big picture and only a vague idea of the historical context their faith emerges from.

The theme of the launch evening was a journey and, to set the scene, guests were treated to one of Madame Tussauds' attractions, a miniature 'London Taxi Ride' through an exhibition of London's history. This was followed by presentations from CWR's Chief Executive, Mick Brooks, a video of Selwyn Hughes explaining the original vision for the Cover to Cover series, and a speech from George Verwer.

Verwer echoed Selwyn Hughes' original concern that so many Christians do not read the whole Bible and applauded CWR's initiative, but at the same time acknowledged that this book is something of a luxury in a language that already has so many translations and editions of the Bible available.

Cover to Cover Complete brings together CWR's popular Cover to Cover daily Bible reading notes and the full text of the Holman Christian Standard Bible rearranged chronologically according to a timeline based on The Reese Chronological Bible. The project is supported by a dedicated section on the CWR website to help readers get the most from the book.

With an initial hardback print run of 18,000 copies, Cover to Cover Complete is one of CWR's largest ever publishing investments, which Mick Brooks describes as springing from the very heart of CWR's ministry: "It looks set to become a worldwide bestseller and our prayer is that readers both near and far will see God's eternal purposes unfold before their eyes."


Salvation Turns Sour at SPCK...
Wednesday, May 23, 2007

Having narrowly escaped being closed down when a proposed merger with Wesley Owen fell through, it seemed something of a relief to many when the St Stephen the Great Trust stepped in and saved the day for SPCK last year.

Sadly that sense of relief has been shortlived as draconian measures have been introduced in the shops, first banning the sale of the Qur'an and now, according to a report by Ruth Gledhill in the Times Online, making Sunday trading mandatory. This, Gledhill further reports, has apparently been followed by a waspish memo to all branch managers upbraiding them for various infractions of the new ownership's customer service and shop cleaning standards.

"It reads like a memo from Fawlty Towers," said one independent bookshop manager, who has asked not to be named. "I'm sure Basil would be proud. A wonderful example of how not to encourage and inspire your staff. They advertised recently in the Bookseller for managers: I am so grateful that I didn't apply."

More information and discussion may be found in Dave Walker's The Cartoon Blog. Please pray for the sanity and safety of shop staff, give them a smile when you enter — and please, please try not to smear the windows or trample dirt in off the street...

Updates (most recent first)
• Update 15/10/2007 Exeter Staff Quit: Ruth Gledhill reports on staff at SPCK's Exeter branch resigning in a dispute over new employment contracts.
• Update 14/9/2007 SPCK shop staff voice concerns about their future
• Update 2/6/2007 Sunday Trading at SPCK

SPCK/SSG News Index


Wesley Owen: Hull Branch Closing Down
Wednesday, May 23, 2007

Wesley Owen's Hull Branch faces its last day of trading on Saturday May 26th 2007, prompting the question "Will Hull be the only [UK] city or town of over 250,000 people without a Christian Bookshop?"

More details will be posted here as further information becomes available.


Can You Bake a Cake?
February 2007

The Chaplaincy of Christ the Good Shepherd, Poitou-Charentes and the Vendee, France, is looking for a Christian Cook/Baker for a new tea room outreach initiative to serve the area's British expatriate community. The aim of the tea room is to be a place of encounter, equally attractive to French as well as Brits: for people to encounter each other and thus advance integration, but most of all to encounter Jesus Christ.

Help finding accommodation is available. For more information, including rate of pay and terms of employment, contact Rev Michael Hepper, Chaplain of Christ the Good Shepherd, Poitou-Charentes and the Vendee,



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