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02 November 2006

The charity and publishing company Hymns Ancient & Modern is to take over Church House Bookshop in Westminster, it was announced on Tuesday. Hymns Ancient & Modern owns SCM-Canterbury Press and the Church Times.

The Archbishops' Council, which owns the bookshop, concluded some time ago that it was losing money and should be sold. Professor Peter Toyne, who chairs the council's publishing board, said it had decided that "there was no fundamental reason why the council itself should be running such a shop." He was delighted to have reached agreement "with an excellent company that has in-depth experience of the religious publishing market". Under the deal, existing staff will be kept on.

Patrick Coldstream, chairman of Hymns Ancient & Modern, said that his company intended to develop the services offered by the shop, and also its mail-order and internet arms. Church House Bookshop, as it will still be called, will continue to stock a full range of official C of E publications, including General Synod papers

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