Tuesday, 31 May 2011

Forthcoming Altar Missal

Christian bookshops around the country are up in arms about not being able to sell the forthcoming Altar Missals. They have issued the following Open Letter to the publisher of the books, The Catholic Truth Society.

Abbey Bookshop, Buckfast
Lighthouse Bookshop, Swindon
McCrimmons at All Saints Bookshop, London Colney
Mustard Seed Bookshop, Marlborough
Our Lady’s Bookshop, Hessle
Pauline Books & Media, London, Glasgow, Newcastle and Liverpool
Pilgrims Progress, Hereford
St Denys Bookshop, Manchester
St Olav’s Trust Bookshop, Chichester
St Pauls, London, Birmingham, Leeds and York
Sarum Books, Salisbury
The Shrine Shop, Walsingham
Unicorn Tree Books, Lincoln

To the Rt Revd Paul Hendricks, Chairman of the Board of Management and Mr Fergal Martin, General Secretary of the Catholic Truth Society Incorporated.

The imminent arrival of the new translation of the Rite of Mass is welcome news. We write as retailers of Catholic books in the UK to express our concern at information we have received from the Catholic Truth Society (C.T.S.) regarding supply of the new Missals - specifically the Altar, Chapel and Introductory editions.

The C.T.S. state they are offering only a "non-negotiable" 10% discount to trade customers on the Altar, Chapel and Introductory Missals. For any business to run effectively, a more acceptable level of discount is required; all other Christian publishers recognise this and offer every incentive and support to us retailers. However, by their unwillingness to support us, the C.T.S. are effectively imposing a monopoly on the supply of these books.

The implementation of the new translation will place upon all parishes, schools, Religious Houses and other institutions a heavy financial burden. A very substantial income will be generated for the publisher from the sale of these books. It is regrettable that, under the proposed arrangements, a portion of this income would not be available to the Christian retail trade in general. Many customers are loyal to their chosen Christian retailer and it is unfortunate that in making these major purchases under the proposed terms from the C.T.S., this loyalty cannot be exercised. This restricts the customer’s ability to support their local retailer at a time when all are experiencing the challenges of a recession and decline in book sales . We are already aware of considerable discontent on the part of some clergy, and all the retailers we have been able to contact, at the terms for supply of these Missals.
We therefore write to express our dismay and disappointment at the high-handed action of the C.T.S.. Secondly, we ask that you initiate immediate discussion and negotiation with the C.T.S. in order that normal supply terms can be established to the book trade. This would help we Christian retailers maintain the service we aim to offer as we all strive to carry out our ministries in such challenging times and make religious products available throughout the dioceses in the UK.