Independent specialist bookshop Tonbridge Christian Book Centre has been bought by Christian bookshop chain CLC Bookshops for an undisclosed sum.
The Tonbridge Christian Book Centre (TCBC), located on Quarry Hill Parade, has been run as an independent for over 34 years by Norman and Mavis Nibloe. It benefits from strong links with local churches and shares "many core values" with CLC, its mission "to honour Christ by stockholding and retailing material selected to encourage personal faith and ... Christian living".
TCBC's owners called CLC's takeover the "answer" to "many prayers", joining the UK group of 19 Christian bookshops.
The Nibloes jointly said: “We have run the Tonbridge Christian Book Centre for 34 years and we are delighted that CLC are taking over and intend to develop the ministry of Christian literature through the Tonbridge shop...We have worked closely with CLC over the years and are thrilled to be handing over to an organisation committed to the ministry of Christian literature and spreading the gospel in this country and worldwide.”
Mick Goodman, co-general manager of CLC International (UK), said: “High Street Christian bookselling lies deep in CLC’s DNA, and we remain fully committed to retail. It is encouraging to see those independent shops, such as TCBC, that have come through the recent challenging economic times and continue to flourish. We are therefore very pleased to have this opportunity to continue the ministry of providing Bibles and Christian resources, and to serve the Christian community in Tonbridge and the surrounding area.”
CLC added Tolworth indie Re:fresh Books and Christian Resources to its portfolio in May last year.