Bridge Books: Celebrating 10 Years
Local independent Christian retailer Bridge Books recently celebrated its 10th anniversary in June. Over 60 people attended the event at Riverside Church. Founders John and Margaret Robertson were present along with current owners Gary and Mary Lee. Thanks were given to the staff, volunteers and customers who continue to support the work of Bridge Books.
John Robertson shared how he and his wife Margaret felt the region could benefit from a well-stocked Christian resource centre. In 2008, Bridge Books began. It came at a time when five Christian bookshops closed in the South West that year. Bridge Books continues to plan for the future despite the prominence of the internet. Many customers want to touch and feel items before they buy so they know what they are getting – something that the internet cannot provide.
“The main thing about the internet is that if people know what they want, it’s easy. The main reason that people come to us is because they’re not sure what they want.”
Customers praise their vast selection of products, their prices – especially for bulk orders – and being a warm and welcoming presence in the community. It’s not just Bibles and books that are available although there is an incredible range to choose from. They also stock artwork, cards, gifts, music, films, magazines and more.
Across the South West, Bridge Books has participated in over 35 events totalling 85 days of the year. They provide books on a sale-or-return basis, run pop-up book stalls for various events which has included the Devon County Show and the Crediton Flower festival and donate between 60 and 80 books to over 105 libraries in schools, the prison, the Commando Training Centre, hospitals, hospices and overseas in Uganda and Kenya. They won a Community Impact Award at the 2017 Christian Resources Together Awards which recognised their outstanding contribution to the community.
Bridge Books continues to diversify and adapt to the changing climate that independent retailers face. Through running their own events including author talks and workshops, having a loyalty card scheme and a website and social media presence, Bridge Books is an encouragement and a testimony to high street retailers to continue to work hard, plan for the future and celebrate the successes along the way.
3 Okehampton Street, Exeter, Devon, EX4 1DW