When Two Become One: Kingsway CLC Trust

When Two Become One: Kingsway CLC Trust

On 1 November 2019, CLC UK celebrated its 78th birthday.  Birthdays are always a time to reflect – to look back, and to look forward. CLC has been used by God in countless ways over those 78 years and, as we celebrated at our 75th anniversary, we are ‘Forever Grateful’.  The stories of changed lives, of commitment to Christ, and of many helped in their spiritual walk are the reason why CLC exists.

It is plainly evident that our world has changed beyond recognition during this time.  Almost everything is available within a few clicks on the computer, and the way we access and consume information would not be recognised by our grandparents. CLC has had to face up to those realities – bookshops do not work in the same way as before; people buy books online; they read eBooks and listen to audio books; and ours is a visual age, with images and the spoken word on screen often more important communicators than written words alone.  

As we prayed through these issues, the Lord impressed on us the need for partnership.  We assumed this meant closer working relationships with others involved with Christian books and media.  We did not, however, expect that a relationship of this sort would develop into a full merger of two organisations! In just a few months, discussions led to prayer, which led to a decision: CLC UK would merge with the Kingsway Trust. The legal process was completed on September 25, and the joint operation is now known as the Kingsway CLC Trust. This new structure is fully recognised by, and remains part of, CLC International.

The Kingsway Trust is strong in areas where CLC needs to grow. For example, they have close relationships with film producers and a clear online strategy.  We are very excited about the possibilities for Christian films, which now have access to UK cinemas, and for the opportunity to have a role in promoting them to the general public. On the other hand, CLC has a great reputation as a wholesaler and has an established history in retail.  

The Kingsway Trust has now closed its warehouse in Eastbourne, with all logistics being moved to our Chester warehouse. Our distribution department will become stronger and thus better able to support the independent bookshops. Our website strategy will become more focused as some traditional bookshops close. At the same time, some exciting, but different, retail opportunities are opening up. More of that in subsequent issues of this magazine!

A marriage made in heaven? God spoke to us very clearly about trees being grafted together, and there is a great sense of unity as we move forward together.

Neil Wardrope - Kingsway CLC Trust Missions

Neil Wardrope

Neil is the CLC UK Missions Director.