So we've all been waiting a while for more news about The Manna House's relocation and judging by some customers' questions, rumours of closure have not abated. So we're delighted to give you an official update directly from the office of our director, John Nightingale. If you receive his quarterly news sheet, you'll already have read the following:
Over the last year, the Trustees have been reviewing all the activities of the Manna House and seeking God to find the way forward for the next three/five years. After much deliberation and prayer, it was decided to put the Manna House building up for sale. There are two main reasons why this very bold decision has been taken. Firstly, to move the Bookshop further into town thus raising its profile and accessibility whilst looking to increase footfall and turnover. Secondly, to eradicate the mortgage that is currently existing on both buildings thus making us debt free.
With that in mind, the building was put on the market just before Christmas 2014. We are now at the place where an offer has been made and accepted and solicitors have been instructed. Our hope is that completion will happen as soon as possible so that the move to a new unit can be made before the main Christmas trading begins. The Trustees are currently exploring a variety of options regarding where to move to but the aim is to stay in St Giles Street but be town centre side of the Ridings Arcade. It is likely that the new unit will be smaller than the current one but we hope it will be as attractive. Thankfully the counselling service will not be affected by this move.
The Trustees are totally committed to the mission and outreach of the Shop and want to see Northampton maintain a Christian presence on the High Street. Sadly over 40 towns have lost their Christian bookshops in the last 3 years. In order for ours to survive well, we need the continued and active support of the whole Christian community. We are aware that we are sometimes not able to better Amazon’s prices but we would ask that you join us in the mission of the Shop. So we continue to ask you to ‘think before you click’ and allow us to supply your needs. Since October 1983, when the Shop opened, we have sold just over £7.5 million worth of Christian material which we believe is positive seed sown into peoples lives. We never cease to be amazed at the amount of opportunities we have to talk and share with people as they visit the Shop. Amongst the cards, gifts, books and bibles, we have many meaningful conversations and occasional prayers with a wide variety of visitors.
We continue to be encouraged by our customers regarding how appealing the Shop looks and how impressive the range of stock is, particularly in sourcing christening, baptism, dedication, first communion, confirmation and wedding gifts.
The Internet business continues to be blessed by the amount of quality second hand books that are being donated to the work. We are able, in many cases, to advertise, process and recycle these books through the internet which is a great way of supporting our mission.
Watch this space for more updates!