Today I edited my blog profile and removed the words ‘bookshop owner’. For the past 6 years I’ve been co-owner of Illuminate. There have been many good things except our finances. You can read about the vision here. Fortunately there are over 300 committed Christians in the town who want to keep it open and they’ve raised a staggering £48000 in a little over three weeks, enough to purchase the business.
While a number of practical details still need to work themselves out over the next few weeks and months essentially from the 1st August I made the shift from being a proprietor to landlord. We retain the freehold on the business and are proud to have a Christian bookshop and cafe, a Christian youthwork charity and a Christian money advice charity find a home in our 200 year old building.
Christian bookshops in the UK are a vanishing breed, even theological colleges can’t maintain them and there are more towns without than with. I hope one remains in Shrewsbury for years to come. I hope the new trust that has taken on the bookshop build on our successes and succeeds where we have failed. I’ll remain a loyal customer.
Having said that I feel it is all in God’s hands and His timing is eternally perfect. So I have real peace about it and am grateful that now my family has grown and the church is merging, there is one less responsibility to give attention to, one less division on my time and energy. I’m not really one to dwell too much on the past so there’s a certain amount of anticipation as to the next step in the adventure of following Christ.