VIDEO: One of the county’s last Christian bookshops threatened with closure
The Centre cafe and bookshop in Horsham town centre is facing an uncertain future as it battles with competition from the internet and changing shopping habits.
The cafe in South Street, run mainly by volunteers and supported by 17 of the town’s churches, is always busy, but the bookshop upstairs - the more profitable side of the business is struggling.
This means that without rethinking of the business, The Centre could be closed within a year.
The Centre also helps bookstalls thrive in several Sussex towns where Christian bookshops have closed, such as Burgess Hill, Littlehampton, East Grinstead, Haywards Heath and Crawley.
These would have to find alternative suppliers if The Centre does not survive.
The churches in Horsham are keen that this ministry continues in the town as they see many people helped pastorally in The Centre. Manager Doug Fletcher said people often ask to be prayed for, some visit in desperate need and are listened to by volunteers. Watch the video to hear his appeal.
Members of the Centre’s board of trustees are now looking into ways in which to adapt the business model so that it can continue to be this support to people.
For the full story buy next week’s County Times.