Christian literature is very important. It is important for Christians to be growing in our understanding and love of the Lord Jesus Christ. It is important for non-Christians to be challenged to consider the claims of Christ over their lives.
For various reasons Christians have developed our own publishing distribution and retailing of our literature. Consequently, it is hard for people to find anything distinctively Christian in secular bookshops. Even in, or should I say especially in, the religious section of secular bookshops Christianity is not to be found.
The major Christian retail outlets have moved to the suburbs. They are large and growing businesses whose turnover of stock would be the envy of most secular bookshops. With the closure of the CMS (Church Missionary Society) bookshop, the central business district of the city is without a Christian bookshop. This is a concern that several friends are trying to address.
In the meantime, we have re-opened the Cathedral shop to sell a limited range of Christian books. We do not have the capacity to stock or sell anything but a very specific and limited range of Christian books and materials. We are not intending to make this a complete Christian bookshop. Our intentions are much more modest. It is a distribution point for Evangelical publications to serve the Christian community in the city and in the Cathedral.
The range of literature will provide evangelistic materials for our many tourists and visitors. It will provide the training materials and study guides for people active in Christian ministry. It will provide a range of suitable gift books and cards for the Christmas period.
This beginning to the re-opening of our Cathedral shop will set the tone for its future development. Like the rest of the Cathedral our guests, visitors and tourists should be able to enter the building and gain some understanding of Christianity. It is important that as the Cathedral of the Diocese that the distinctive values of this Diocese are seen by all who enter.
Our chief aim is not to make money, though we have no embarrassment about selling goods in order to make this service possible. Our chief aim is to provide for the public, both Christian and non-Christian, reliable and accessible Christian literature. This will not be limited to the printed word – we will be selling CD’s and tapes of music and preaching as well. In time this will become the normal distribution outlet for selling the Cathedral sermon series.
We intend to sell the remaining stock of the gift shop but have made no decisions yet about restocking gifts. We will have to work that out in the coming days. The plan so far is to be open before and after church on Sundays and during the weekdays from 10am to 4pm.