BUCKING THE TREND – A BRIGHTER LIGHT ON THE HIGH STREET
At a time when many bookshops, particularly Christian ones, are closing; one independent shop is bucking the trend.
Illuminate Christian Books, in the centre of Shrewsbury, continues to thrive in its remarkable old building on Wyle Cop, selling Christian books, music, gifts and more recently opening a large and popular second hand book section.
However, only in 2010, after over 50 years trading, the shop faced closure. Determined to maintain their bookshop, local Christians raised over £50,000 to buy the business and now own and run it as shareholders.
Andrew Pattison, Chair of the Board of Trustees, told us,
‘Our success in recent years has been built on the support of local Christians who ‘shop locally’. We also work with an increasing number of churches, who we support through bookstalls and the supply of cards, books and other church supplies.’
The staff, including many volunteers, also benefit from Shrewsbury’s tourist trade. Christine Coleman, the shop manager, explained,
‘Particularly in the summer months, we get many visitors who are thrilled to find a Christian bookshop, often telling us how their local shop has been forced to close.’
Illuminate is still looking to work with more local churches and is holding an open evening for church leaders on Thursday 23rd January 2014 to encourage more to work with them. Andrew Pattison explained;
‘It really is a case of use us or, eventually, lose us, as we depend primarily on trade to pay the bills. As well as very often being able to match the price of certain very well known internet retailers, we provide a local service to local churches, something we would love to do for far more congregations. I, for one, want to see a local Christian presence continuing in the High Street for a long time to come and hope may local Christians will join us to make that possible.’
For more information, to book or find out more about the Open Evening call Illuminate on 01743 233657.