Author Topic: Orthodox takeover book chain  (Read 2184 times)

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Offline hedley

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Orthodox takeover book chain
« on: April 18, 2007, 04:08:29 AM »
An Orthodox charity has taken over the UK Anglican book store chain SPCK, and is buying up abandoned churches:

Offline pensateomnia

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Re: Orthodox takeover book chain
« Reply #1 on: April 19, 2007, 02:15:14 PM »
Great news! Here's the text of the link (for those too lazy to click on it):

On November 1, 2006, Saint Stephen the Great Charitable Trust completed its acquisition of the 23 book shop chain of the SPCK (Society for Promoting Christian Knowledge).  This historic transaction  for the transfer of ownership of this venerable chain was unanimously approved by the governing body of the 308 year old SPCK at their annual meeting on October 19, 2006.

Remaining true to Orthodoxy, the shops, under Saint Stephen the Great ownership and management, will introduce a strong selection of Orthodox literature, icons and other religious items. It will also continue to offer other Christian materials with an emphasis on SPCK publications.  The trustees of Saint Stephen the Great believe that a broad array of Orthodox Christian material can be distributed in England and Wales by continuing to serve SPCK's existing customer base of Anglicans, other Protestants and Roman Catholics.
But for I am a man not textueel I wol noght telle of textes neuer a deel. (Chaucer, The Manciple's Tale, 1.131)

Offline dantxny

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Re: Orthodox takeover book chain
« Reply #2 on: April 19, 2007, 02:37:28 PM »
"If you give the average Frenchman a choice between a reforming president who would plug the country's huge deficit and a good cheese, he would probably opt for the cheese." - Stephen Clarke
I think the French may be on to something here.

Offline Aristibule

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Re: Orthodox takeover book chain
« Reply #3 on: April 19, 2007, 04:08:04 PM »
"Taken over" might be a bit of a sensationalist way to put it. Rather, the trust purchased the book shops in agreement with the SPCK. They still maintain the relationship and will carry SPCK publications, as well as material for Catholics, Anglicans and other Christians. It has improved the availability of Orthodox materials - that is the major boon (Orthodox books and icons.) The 'big controversy' is that they no longer sell the Koran, and the new owners have encouraged other Christian bookshops to do the same. SPCK and its Press still remain Church of England.

I was in the Westminster branch last month - very nice bookshop. Right above Watts of Westminster, and next door to Wippell's. Even more important was the Antique books section. If I had the cash and the luggage, there were a few items I would have liked there.

The St. Stephen's Trust, as I understand it, was founded by a few Antiochian Orthodox laymen from Texas (converts from ORU, as many others of us were.) So far they've purchased one redundant church - and that in a Muslim neighborhood. Redundant churches tend to get turned into residences, balloon shops or antique warehouses, sometimes mosques, Hindu Temples, or Pentecostal churches. So - Orthodox church isn't such a bad trade (though, God be with them in doing mission's work in a Moslem neighborhood!)
« Last Edit: April 19, 2007, 04:09:54 PM by Aristibule »
"We must begin at once to "build again the tabernacle which is fallen down, and to build again the ruins thereof, and to set it up;" for HE WHO GAVE THE THOUGHT IN OUR HEART HE LAID ALSO THE RESPONSIBILITY ON US THAT THIS THOUGHT SHOULD NOT REMAIN BARREN." - J.J. Overbeck, 1866

Offline hedley

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Re: Orthodox takeover book chain
« Reply #4 on: April 19, 2007, 09:05:12 PM »
I understand that the trust has so far bought three churches. Last week my SF  told me that to his astonishment they have just bought a beautiful grade 2 listed church in Ipswich and will allow him to use it for his parish. That is how I learned of the trusts existence.

Offline lubeltri

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Re: Orthodox takeover book chain
« Reply #5 on: April 19, 2007, 10:07:54 PM »
Wonderful news that those churches will remain in Christian hands---Orthodox, even better! There are so many lovely English parish churches, many dating from the Middle Ages, that are no longer needed by the CoE. How I would love to see the Catholics acquire more of those churches and move back into their former homes. Thanks to immigration, Catholics are said to become very soon the dominant faith in the UK in numbers of active adherents for the first time since the Reformation (unless you count Hedonism or Nihilism as a religion, of course!).

Next time I'm in England I'll be sure to check out those bookshops---hopefully, with the new ownership, they will be full of lots of good orthodox stuff.