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Christian shops opt for the daily grind

03 March 2011

by Ed Beavan

COFFEE, cakes, and Christian litera­ture will soon be available under one roof on the high street, thanks to a new type of bookshop opening in two English city centres.

The Nationwide Christian Trust acquired 19 shops from the Christian bookselling chain Wesley Owen when it went into administration two years ago, and rebranded them Living Oasis bookshops.

A total of 17 of the shops remain open, but now the group is attempt­ing to appeal to a wider public with two coffee shops that will sell reli­gious books and have community rooms in Leeds and Liverpool. They will aim to use the coffee shop’s at­tractions to broaden the demo­graphic of customers.

The Revd Andrew Twilley, a Baptist minister, who is a director at the Nationwide Christian Trust, said that they had felt “God give us a vision to rescue” some of the Wesley Owen shops.

The coffee-shop aspect was “very exciting”, he said. “We’ve set up steer­ing groups in the cities so local Christians there have ownership, and we hope they will be significantly used for communicating the good news of Jesus in imaginative ways.”

The Trust has also launched a DVD, Philosophy, Science and the God Debate, including contributions by Professors John Lennox and Alister McGrath, in response to the atheistic arguments of Professor Richard Dawkins.

The Nationwide Christian Trust is based at Mulberry House in High Ongar, Essex, and runs a prayer line and pastoral training for clergy and small group leaders.



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