School children in Gibraltar will now have far greater access to Christian literature, thanks to a Christian bookshop and a charity partnership.
Six schools have just received more than 1,500 books worth £12,000 in total, through an ongoing project by Words Aflame Bookshop. The gift was made possible by a collaboration between Speaking Volumes, Gibraltar Christian Mission Trust and Words Aflame Christian Literature Trust.
The books were presented to the schools, all government first and middle schools, at a reception in the Carpenter’s Arms Christian Café above the bookshop. Geoff Booker and Paula Renouf of Speaking Volumes attended the event.
Speaking volumes provides 50 per cent match-funding for gifts of carefully selected books to all kinds of libraries, including schools, prisons and hospices, public libraries and churches. Maggie and Joe Hosken who run the Words Aflame bookshop found out about Speaking Volumes at a Christian Resources Together conference in the UK last July and were inspired to make Christian books available to places in their community back home.
Six schools received books this time but Maggie and Joe would like to support more schools and libraries. Gibraltar has a population of 30,000 in an area of less than three square miles. It is a tight-knit community and Maggie believe others too may be interested once word gets around. The public library has already been given books with funding from the Gibraltar Evangelical Alliance and Speaking Volumes and it is hoped that the prison will accept a gift too.
The schools are very grateful for the gift of books. One remarked: ‘We were literally told that we could chose anything from the catalogue and as much as we want. It’s not often you are approached with such a generous offer and be given free, quality books.’
Paula Renouf of Speaking Volumes said: ‘At a time when Christian bookshops are struggling to survive, it is heartening that a bookshop is reaching out to its community like this.’
The Speaking Volumes match-funding scheme is also available to churches who want to offer free Christian books to places in their community where they can be borrowed and enjoyed. ‘It’s an easy way to ensure the Christian message is available when someone choses to read it,’ explained Paula. ‘If the books are ordered through your local Christian bookshop, you are also helping to keep them in business and making Christian books available on your high street – which is equally important.’ Paula Renouf
To find out more about funding for similar projects from Speaking Volumes, visit www.speakingvolumes.org.uk
Above: Maggie and Joe Hosken at their Words Aflame Christian Bookshop