Modern technology has brought the Bible and other religious literature right at our fingertips. Christians can now read the Bible and connect with fellow worshipers at their own convenience. However, this technology also brought the demise of Christian bookshops in the UK, reports Premier.
As people become more mobile, buying Christian study materials are now done online and this caused many Christian bookstores to close shop. A shop in Hertfordshire called on the public to save their bookstore and other outlets like theirs from closure.
It’s sad because as well as being a valuable resource center for the Christian community it was a very popular place for people to come in for a coffee and to enjoy some fellowship. —Pam Kerr, Christian Literature Crusade shop manager
Susan Taylor of the Letchworth Christian Bookshop said their shop is a community hub where people could meet and get together. She shared that a woman who just moved to Letchworth visited their store “because she says it’s been a lifeline to her, to get to chat to people and know people.”
Taylor disclosed that aside from the popularity of online shopping, the rising commercial rental costs forces stores to shut. “You’ve got to sell them to make a profit. Although we’re a non-profit making organisation, we’ve still got to cover wages, resourcing the shop and the rent.”
Another institution is also set to shut down operation because of low foot traffic. The Christian Literature Crusade (CLC) has been in business for 40 years and serves communities across the Scottish Highlands. It is one of the UK’s leading Christian bookstore chains and has provided resources for churches in Wick, Thurso, Ullapool and Skye.
Pam Kerr, CLC shop manager, expressed her disappointment over the closing of the store. “It’s sad because as well as being a valuable resource center for the Christian community it was a very popular place for people to come in for a coffee and to enjoy some fellowship.”
She said, despite losing their brick-and-mortar shop, CLC products will still be available online. CLC recently closed its store in Ipswich, Suffolk.
CLC Commercial director Jamie Hill said, “We are not finished with Ipswich yet but, for now, things have to change and the store must close which really saddens me.”