For the Adventist world in the UK and Ireland, the first Sunday in September is the Stanborough Press Open Day, and pandemic or not, this coming Sunday our special sales event takes place – albeit virtually. With keynote speakers, Pastor John Bradshaw, Dr Katia Reinert, Brenda Walsh and Dr Kirk Thomas – it is not to be missed.
More about that in a few moments, but first, says the company's Managing director Elisabeth Sangüesa, "On behalf of the Stanborough Press team, I want to express our gratitude to our faithful members across the UK and Ireland, for their support and commitment in sharing the good news of the Gospel through literature."
It was William Ings in 1878 who started the publishing work in the United Kingdom. As the first Literature Evangelist, he grasped the importance of putting the Adventist message into an English context. It is "Ings's legacy," says Sangüesa, "that continues to drive us to support and serve you – partners in mission to reach UK and Irish people."
Eighteen months after the first lockdown and the start of the pandemic, and despite the challenges of church closures and lack of events, restructuring of staff, having to cover for multiple tasks, Adventist Book Centre Manager, Trevor Johnson reflects, "The Press team has continued to serve, showing flexibility and a passion to continue spreading the Gospel through the printed page. The very week lockdown began, in March 2020," he continues, "our new online retail outlet, LifeSource Christian Bookshop, went live, revolutionising our sales pattern, to help us stay connected with members."
"Praise God, we are still here," says Production Manager Peter Oppong-Mensah. Recognising the current business challenges we face, he observes, "It is most encouraging to see our online retail outlet growing in popularity, not only among Adventists, but the wider Christian community."
"This is an important value not to be missed," says Press Editor, David Neal. "As a leadership team, we are continually searching for ways to increase our 'mission reach' to UK and Irish people. One significant step for example, has been the rebranding of our shop in Watford which now serves as a Centre of Influence, and is making an impact in the local community."
It is with this renewed sense of mission that inspires the Press family in Grantham. But the mission reach of the Stanborough Press is not only the UK and Ireland. If you want to get a sense of the breadth of the Stanborough Press mission reach, watch warehouse operatives pack a container to the rafters with books destined for such places as Kenya, Zambia, or South Africa. They pack not just any old books, but life-giving books telling of Christ!
Back in the UK and Ireland, it is a privilege to continue partnering with ministries across the British Union Conference (BUC) involved in providing support to those in need. Just this week the Stanborough Press is working with South England Conference Community Services to provide 100 bibles for newly arrived Afghan refugees. In addition, we are also supporting many local churches to make a difference in their community (Dublin, Balham, Croydon, North London) by supplying the appropriate literature.
There was a time when Open Day was restricted to those living close enough to Grantham to attend. But as Open Day is now virtual, members throughout the whole BUC territory (from Belfast to Hove, and from Aberdeen to Plymouth) have the opportunity to not just enjoy an afternoon of inspiration, but to purchase heavily discounted book and literature bargains.
With the theme, 'Life Stories', the Open Day programme will be broadcast from 2:00 pm on Sunday through SEC Media and Stanborough Press YouTube channels. It will also be possible to connect directly on the Stanborough Press and LifeSource websites.
A virtual Open Day also provides another not to be missed opportunity, with the sales period extended from September 3 to September 6 (midnight). For those who prefer to visit our retail outlets (Watford, London, Aston Newtown, Grantham), they will be open from 10:00 am - 4:00 pm on Sunday.
"Over 100 years ago Ellen White encouraged members to spread literature like leaves of autumn. The Stanborough Press has been an essential part of fulfilling that admonition in the British Isles and beyond, and it continues to do so," comments Audrey Andersson, newly elected Publishing Ministries director at the Trans-European Division. "Elisabeth Sangüesa and her team are to be commended for the enormous efforts they have made during the pandemic to keep the Press open and serving the Church. As things open up following the pandemic, we look forward to seeing how the Lord will continue to lead, bless and provide new opportunities," Andersson concludes.
The Stanborough Press, continues to be the story of a mission-driven company of incredibly faithful and dedicated employees, who recognise the leading of the Lord in their daily work at the Grantham-based site. This Sunday they will be working again to partner with you in mission.
For more information, visit lifesourcebookshop.co.uk.