30 years from SPCK to Christian Resources, and another Advent is coming…


We’re giving thanks to God this week for Janette in Christian Resources who marks the magnificent milestone of 30 years working in the city’s bookshop.

It’s a role she was made to do, we think you’ll agree. But the journey to a joyful role surrounded by theological books didn’t start until she was honest with herself, and most significantly, God.  

Three decades ago, Janette was actually a newly qualified teacher with an English degree and a career in a school seemed the next natural step. Though she’d trained to teach, something just didn’t feel right for her, and as it happened, God had other plans, she explains:

“One night at my Church home group, with gentle probing, I burst into tears and said I didn't want to go into teaching.

“That night they prayed for me.

“The next morning in the local free paper I saw advertised a shop assistant role at the SPCK Bookshop. I stabbed it with my finger and said, ‘that is my job!’”

And of course, it was!

“Absolutely it was my calling,” explains Janette. “I knew it was God’s provision. We can try and be something we think we ought to be, but when we’re completely honest – as I was, with fellow Christians and God - He answers.

“For me, it was the very next day. And having been here 30 years, I think I’ll stay!”

Over the years the Christian bookshop has evolved - moving locations around the city, changing owners, facing financial and spiritual challenges – and, though the journey may have been bumpy, God has always been at work in bringing this much-loved and needed bookshop back to the heart of the diocese and its home, today, in St Martin’s House.

Janette has been at the helm of Christian Resources for approaching 10 years now.

“I was never one to push myself forwards, God got me here, and I love being here,” she explains. “We really are at the heart of ministry in the diocese, and feed so well into all areas.”

Since being back in the shop following lockdown, Janette has recommended and provided books for everything from the Journey In Faith course, to reading for Launde Abbey, the St Philips Centre, the Cathedral and more specific bible study groups.

A self-confessed bookworm, books are incredibly important to Janette in terms of her personal growth and development as a Christian. “When I get a book that has had an impact on me and think it could have that effect on other people, I do get excited,” she says. “I’m not a hard seller, but more about what God can do through these words.”

It’s clear Janette’s job is integral to her everyday faith. “There was a moment, in a prayer time at church, when I was lost in wonder, love and praise worshipping Him, when I distinctly heard God say: ‘What does that level of devotion look like when you go to the shop in the morning?’ That was a real turning point for me in treating every customer as someone God has sent,” she explains. “I don’t always get it right, but the motivation is there, in wanting to express my love for God in my everyday work.”  

There’s a verse from Psalm 90 that the team hold dear in the shop, and it reminds them to be faithful to what God has called them to, and to rely on Him, every day, for the success of His ministry.

May the favour of the Lord our God rest on us: establish the work of our hands for us. Yes, establish the work of our hands.

“It’s ultimately God’s grace that we’re here, that we’ve come this far and not sunk like so many Christian bookshops have, and we’re grateful for that,” says Janette. “We have been through many difficult times and value your prayers and support as we face this current one - I’m not ready to retire yet!”

Christian Resources (found in St Martin’s House, next to the Cathedral) is open Monday - Friday, 9am - 3pm.

Advance orders of Advent candles would be appreciated.

Call: 0116 2615222 Visit: www.christianresourcesleicester.com

First published on: 1st October 2020

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