STAFF at the Derby Cathedral Bookshop have been made redundant as part of plans to “reorganise” the cathedral café and bookshop into one space, the diocese of Derby has confirmed.
A press release last week said that the cathedral café and bookshop, currently separate, would be closed from 1 April, to carry out an “extensive refurbishment” of the interior, with the addition of a gift shop.
The new space is due to reopen in mid-April with “a fresh look” and name: The Sanctuary at Derby Cathedral. It is to be made available for private hire.
Complaints had been made that the cathedral bookshop — the only Christian bookshop in the city — was being closed, and staff were being made redundant, to save the café.
A spokesman for the diocese said on Tuesday that the bookshop was not being closed but downsized, and he confirmed that bookshop staff had been let go. He denied that the café had been struggling financially.
“As we are merging the bookshop and café areas of the business, we have been able to identify a number of lines of books that are not popular, and which we feel it is not appropriate to keep in stock. However, they will still be available to order through The Sanctuary at Derby Cathedral.
“As a result, the overall area assigned to displaying books will be reduced, but the most popular lines will continue to be available,” he said.
“We have also reviewed our staffing levels. While it has not been possible to retain every member of staff from both the bookshop and café, all staff were encouraged to consider and apply for the new roles with The Sanctuary at Derby Cathedral. Three staff have taken the decision not to continue with their employment — and another has moved to a new position at the cathedral itself.”
The press release said that The Sanctuary would “initially provide employment for five staff, and that additional part-time staff may also be needed as the business grows”.
The spokesman had said last week that the bookshop would not necessarily be smaller, and would still have an online presence (News, 22 March).
“Times are changing: people don’t come in and buy books in the way that they used to, but that does not mean that we are going to stop books; it doesn’t mean that [people] are not going to be able to order books.”