Golden date gives cause for celebration as Letchworth Christian Bookshop marks 50 years in business

PUBLISHED: 17:01 04 August 2015

Long serving trustee and volunteer Hazel Cuthbertson sharing a story with a young customer

Long serving trustee and volunteer Hazel Cuthbertson sharing a story with a young customer

Archant

Songs of Praise presenter Pam Rhodes will lead a chorus of celebration on Saturday as Letchworth Christian Bookshop marks its 50th anniversary.

Pam RhodesPam Rhodes

Local author Pam will be on hand when celebrations kick off at 10.45am at the shop in Leys Avenue.

The timetable includes music, book signings, interviews, refreshments and the unveiling of a commemorative plaque.

Manager Mike Foster said this week: “We’re celebrating 50 years of being part of the community in North Herts.

“It’s been our privilege to provide a shop window for the Christian faith right here on the high street.

“We aim to welcome everyone, from people looking for answers to life’s big questions, to those who are popping in for a birthday card.”

The shop first opened for business in 1965 in premises in Bridge Street, Hitchin.

It outgrew that base and in the 1980s moved to a new home in Station Road, Letchworth, before making the short hop to its present Leys Avenue base in 2009.

The team is confident that the business can still thrive despite the pressures of internet shopping, e-books and music streaming which have caused other retailers to throw in the towel.

“We have an amazingly loyal family of customers and supporters, from a very wide area, and from many different churches,” says Mike.

“But we don’t take them for granted, and we are always looking for ways to adapt to changing times.

“We have a wonderful range of children’s books, and the bible stories are timeless, so we are looking forward to a new generation of believers and customers.

“As the saying goes, we may not know what the future holds, but we know who holds the future.”

The shop has strong links to many churches in Letchworth and the surrounding area and to the local Churches Together organisation.

It is a registered charity, run by a small group of trustees – the current crop represent Christchurch Baldock, New Life Church Letchworth, and St Mary’s in Stotfold – supported by a small dedicated staff and many enthusiastic volunteers.

The shop serves regular customers from a 25 mile radius, as well as many from much further afield.

In addition to providing bibles, books, notes and magazines, music and DVDs, gifts and cards, the shop has a cosy sitting area and complimentary hot drinks.

It aims to provide an oasis in the middle of a busy town, as well as being a place to find out about local churches, events and organisations, an opportunity to catch up with others and maybe help to make connections or find a listening ear.

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