General Synod’s Communications and Information Resources Committee has unanimously endorsed negotiations with Augsburg Fortress Canada that would see the continuation of a bookstore at the site presently occupied by the Anglican Book Centre.
The committee gave its approval after hearing Augsburg Fortress Canada’s Director, Andy Seal, describe a plan through which the Lutheran company would assume responsibility for running the Anglican bookstore, as well as the mail order and web operations. The bookstore could therefore continue without any cost to the Anglican Church.
At its last meeting, the Anglican Council of General Synod agreed to close the bookstore this summer because of operating deficits going back several years.
But Mr. Seal told the communications committee that he thinks by combining the efforts of Augsburg Fortress Canada and ABC, the bookstore can survive. Augsburg Fortress Canada is the non profit Ministry of Publishing serving the Evangelical Lutheran Church in Canada with which the Anglican Church is in full communion.
The negotiations between General Synod and Augsburg Fortress began late last year, but Mr. Seal’s presentation to CIRC was the first time they were made public and that an Anglican group was asked to endorse their continuation.
Mr. Seal stated that Augsburg Fortress Canada and ABC would continue to serve Anglicans, and to market, and distribute books produced by ABC Publishing.
The bookstore presently located at the Anglican national office at 80 Hayden Street in Toronto would retain its name, which General Synod would lease to Augsburg Fortress.
Many of the details of the proposal remain to be worked out, but Mr. Seal told CIRC that he hoped a deal can be completed by June 1, so that the new partnership can be celebrated when General Synod and the Evangelical Lutheran Church in Canada meet together in Winnipeg.
The proposal will next go to the Financial Management and Development Committee that meets later this month and then to the Council of General Synod when it meets next month.
For more information, please contact Vianney (Sam) Carriere, Director of Communications, 416-924-9199, ext 306, [email protected] or Peter Blachford, Treasurer of General Synod, 416-924-9199 ext 313, [email protected]
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