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News & Notes (most recent first)
Work begins on new Cathedral Shop: Diocese of Durham News, 10/5/2012; includes artist's impression of the new shop.
A Turbulent History
Durham Cathedral Shop has had a somewhat turbulent history in recent years, outlined briefly below. Following the Brewer brothers' early relinquishment of their lease, however, the shop reopened on 1st March 2010 under the Cathedral's own management.
The shop's location and operations are currently under review as part of the Cathedral's ongoing World Heritage Site development strategy (see opposite: "Open Treasure"). More information will be posted here as and when it emerges...
Durham Cathedral Shop: A Brief History
Following SPCK's handover of its bookshop operations to the St Stephen the Great Charitable Trust in October 2006, Durham Cathedral shop traded briefly as SPCK St Stephen the Great Bookshop. The shop's trading identity was changed to "Durham Cathederal [sic] Shop Management Co" (one of several UK trading identities used by the USA-based Brewer family) in March 2008 in what appears to have been part of a complex strategy to evade creditors and ringfence profitable shops prior to a spurious attempt to file "St Stephen the Great LLC" for bankruptcy in the Texas Bankruptcy Courts in June 2008.
Despite the claimed bankruptcy, the family (headed up by J Mark and Philip W Brewer) continued to trade under a variety of spurious identities until 2009 when the Charity Commission seized control of the parent organisation, the St Stephen the Great Charitable Trust and began to close down its operations.
Durham appears to have been the only shop in the group over which the Charity Commission declined to take an interest.
As noted above, the Brewers eventually pulled out and, following the shop's closure and reopening, a long-running fight for justice for the staff ensued. A settlement was finally reached in August 2011 after extensive negotiations by USDAW: Employment Tribunal awards Redundancy Payments to Durham Cathedral Shop Staff.