After lockdown closures, the staff of BCM’s Charity Shop & Christian Bookshop in Kingstanding on Hawthorn Road are delighted to be open and busy once again!
We have seen the return of old friends, plus the arrival of new visitors; and the fact that we are one of the very few Christian bookshops remaining in Birmingham has brought people from quite far afield. Often they are excited to find us, saying, ‘You’ll see me again!’
Both shops have regular special sales, which have been very popular. But many customers tell us that we already have excellent prices on our clothes, furniture and bric-a-brac in the charity shop; and likewise on our new Bibles, Christian books, CDs, DVDs, and greetings cards upstairs! And our bargain-priced ‘pre-loved’ section is also very popular! One customer commented, ‘You seem guaranteed to get things here that you can’t get anywhere else!’ Another said, ‘You don’t realise what a blessing you are!’
In the shop we meet folks with various needs A lady who had just run from an abusive marriage in Wales came in. She only had what she was wearing, and had been living on toast since running away. Jenny listened to her story and helped her with clothes and food. The lady kept asking, ‘Why are you doing all this for me?’ Jenny was happy to explain that it is because we are Christians, and lovingly shared the Good News of Jesus with her.
We also offer to pray for anyone in need. One day an elderly lady who visits the shop quite regularly came in quite shaken because she had fallen over on the bus. David gave her a chair to sit on, and listened as she told him her story, explained that she ‘wasn’t religious’, but that she liked to read bits of the Bible and think about the cross she passed outside a local church. David encouraged her that she didn’t need ‘religion’, but could have a personal relationship with Jesus; and he gave her a Christian newspaper and Platinum Jubilee Gospel to take away.
Another lady told us, ‘Every time I come in this shop I feel the presence of God – and I’m not even a Christian!’
We are very grateful, as ever, to our volunteers: Angela Webb, Colin and Shirley Hales, James Virgo and his carer, Tara Wilkins; as well as our two Duke of Edinburgh participants, who came to us through a school club run by the BCM Youth Team; and our two special-needs students from the Hive College. Keith Webb also helps us greatly by putting more valuable items that are donated onto eBay. Angela has started a very popular plants section in the shop! And Tara told us, ‘James loves volunteering here, making sure all the shelves are clean, tidy and stocked well. He especially loves serving customers on the till, having a little chat and making them smile.’
So please do come and visit the BCM Charity Shop & Bookshop. You’ll be assured of a warm welcome You’ll also be supporting BCM, and you will definitely go away with some great bargains! And if you can’t get to the bookshop, we would be delighted to order any items you want, such as Bible notes, and post them to you – or even bring a bookstall to your church. Just send us an email at firstname.lastname@example.org or give us a call on 0121 384 3650.
Warwick Goulding, BCM Shop Manager
(pictured above with David Ridler, Assistant Manager)