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SWIMMING AGAINST THE TIDE
Just when Secondhand Bookshops are closing around the country the Methodist Church open one!
Since March 2012, we have opened the former Methodist Chapel at Hassall Rd, Alsager (part of the Cheshire South Circuit) for Secondhand Book sales. The Chapel is situated on the edge of Alsager only 2 miles from Junction 16 of the M6. The chapel was redundant and is proving a useful "Fresh Expression". There are over 25,000 books in subject order and there is everything from History to modern Paperbacks. There is a good Christian section, with sections on Methodism, Theology, Bible Commentaries and worship material.
There are also very good sections on History, Gardening, Classics, Local History, Travel, Geography and children's, not to mention cookery. The customers like the fact that books are in subject order and even for fiction and in alphabetical order!!
Refreshments are available and there is a place to relax and read as well as a display in the chapel area of early Primitive Methodism with banners and display boards.
The bookshop supports the work of Englesea Brook Museum and all the profits go to help the Museum. This is replacing the booksales at Mow Cop and as well as the bookshop we are also putting books on the Internet through Amazon. We have now over 2,500 books on the internet and another 2,000 waiting to go on. Sales are very good and increasing as more books are put on. We have volunteers who put books on the net and also others, who pick up books, pack them and then send them off.
We have been blessed with some very good volunteers who are helping to sort the books, serve customers and make tea/coffee. We serve coffee/tea and visitors find the staff helpful and pleasant
When we started we didn't realise how much shelving we would need. We eat it up very quickly and still need more, both for the Internet books and the shelves in the chapel. Our aim is to get everything on shelves in order-we even have the paperback fiction in alphabetical order, thanks to a retired Librarian.
We have had some very good donations including a recent one of over 1.000 books on Methodist history, including some 200-300 chapel Histories from all over the country. There was a lot of early and rare Primitive Methodist material which has filled gaps in the Englesea Brook collection. We have also had someone who donated a large collection of modern detective fiction. One of the delights is never knowing what will come in. A carrier bag looked to have just some rather tatty modern paperbacks inside but at the bottom of the bag was a copy of Jules Verne's Ballooning trip to East Africa in 1876! We recently collected 5,000 books from Nottingham which we are sorting and hope to collect books from around the country, although because we are very close to the M6 Motorway it is hoped that people will drop them in when they are passing. We can arrange to open up for people coming with books.
The Cheshire South Circuit recently gave £25 book vouchers to 12 local preachers on trial to be used at Hassall Road and they availed themselves of Worship material and Bible Commentaries. We have started a new service — if you are looking for a particular book or books on a subject, let us know what you are looking for and we will contact you when those books/subjects come in.
We are thinking about a Bank Holiday Sale in August but not sure what form it will take. We hope to continue opening on Friday/Saturday mornings and even expand on the opening hours, especially as a lot of other bookshops have closed. It is also supporting the work of Englesea Brook Museum and the exciting development work Dr Jill Barber is doing there. Long may it continue!
For more information contact:-
Rev.Malcolm Lorimer 01270-625278.
Richard & Elaine Pearce:- 01270-625444.
Thanks for your interest in the Hassall Road Secondhand Bookshop.
A few points which may help explain things further.
Books online. -These are on the Amazon site and can only really be accessed by individual titles. As yet we don't have an online listing which is open to the public but it is something we are working on.
Opening Open Fridays(10-2pm) /Saturday mornings(10-1pm). We can open at other times by request. We are getting books in all the time and people can drop off books at other times.
Bookshop. We have over 25,000 books which are all in order of subject. As well as fiction/classics/poetry. We also have quite big sections of History/Geography/ Travel/ Childrens/Art./Other religions./Local History. /Biography.
Christian.This is the biggest section and we have over 500 commentaries -sections on Worship with Bible Studies/Preaching/Music/Drama-sketches. There is a large Theology section and also sections on Healing/Evangelism/ Spirituality/Pastoral/ Ethics/ Church History/Christian Biography.
Methodism. We have recently been given a large Methodist collection which contains over 500 church histories/Methodist history throughout the world/John Wesley-Biographies/journals etc. /Methodist writing over the last 100 years.
Less than 10% of the books we receive go on-line and you really need to visit the bookstore if you can. If you are looking for a particular book or subjects which interest you, we can let you know when a particular book comes in.
Rev Malcolm Lorimer