THE Christian publisher Lion Hudson, in Oxford, is preparing to go into administration 14 years after its foundation, its managing director Suzanne Wilson-Higgins has confirmed.
The firm, which publishes The Lion Handbook to the Bible, non-fiction, fiction, and children’s literature, issued 35 redundancies on Tuesday, after submitting on Monday a High Court Notice of Intent to go into administration.
“Yesterday we undertook a deep and painful restructure,” Ms Wilson-Higgins said in a statement on Wednesday. “As part of that restructure, 35 staff were let go. We are now 18 strong at Lion Hudson, and we believe there is a way forward for the business to continue in its mission to publish quality literature worldwide true to the Christian faith.”
Lion Hudson is expected to be in administration later this month. “We are not liquidating, we continue to trade as normal, and have a forward plan,” she said.
“We had a positive team meeting this morning, and prayed together at lunchtime for leavers, each other, and the future of Lion. To reiterate: we believe there is a way forward for the business, and our financial advisers are being very supportive throughout this process.”
Lion Hudson was formed in 2003 from the merger of the Christian publishers Lion Publishing, founded in 1971, and Angus Hudson, founded in 1977. Lion celebrated its 40th anniversary in 2011 with a service of thanksgiving at Christ Church Cathedral, Oxford. Its first publication, The Lion Handbook to the Bible, is still in print.
Lion fiction books, which the firm says reflect a “Christian worldview”, have been published in more than 200 languages worldwide. Candle Books — its prayer books, Bibles, Bible novelty and activity books for children under seven — include Stories Jesus Told by Nick Butterworth and Mick Inkpen; and The Candle Bible for Toddlers by Juliet David and Helen Prole.
Its non-fiction publications — Monarch Books — include Christian biography, teaching resources, support materials for Christian leaders, and Bible commentaries. “We would very much value your continued prayer support at this time as we adjust to new ways of working,” Ms Wilson-Higgins said.