The future of SPCK and Wesley Owen

02 November 2006


 Sir, - May I respond to the letter from Ann Lewin ( 17 March) about the discussions between SPCK and the Wesley Owen Retail Group, regarding a possible collaboration between our respective bookshop networks?

The trustees of SPCK and of Wesley Owen recognise that we come from different traditions and views of Christian churchmanship. We also recognise that the values of both traditions must be preserved in any potential joint operation. This is vital for Christian witness. It also makes commercial sense.

Faced with economic pressures upon both organisations (Christian book retailing is not generally commercially viable), we seek to provide a comprehensive network of shops, to create the critical mass that will assist financial viability, to consolidate complementary skills and traditions, and to sustain outlets for Christian publishers - outlets that would otherwise be closed. Part of the strength of the combined operation would be to retain as far as possible the broad provision of which Miss Lewin writes.

No one can guarantee that there will be no further changes in Christian book-retailing. But on behalf of the trustees of SPCK and of Wesley Owen, may I assure your readers that we are very aware of the concerns that have been raised, and that there is good will in both organisations to address and meet them.
Governing Body
Society for Promoting Christian Knowledge
36 Causton Street
London SW1P 4ST

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