Twenty pence at the book shack
A Baptist church has created a thriving book exchange which has become a ‘great community asset’ and raised more than £500 for the charity it operates
The Book Shack is based in a small wooden hut in the car park at Mytchett Baptist Church in Surrey, and is open 24 hours a day. Books are received, sorted and sold at 20p each. There are a selection of novels, children’s books and religious books, and since it launched four months ago, more than 2500 have been sold. People have even been seen using the light on their phones at night to choose their books, so the church is now putting in a solar powered motion sensor light in readiness for the winter months.
‘The Book Shack has become a great community asset,’ said minister the Revd Christopher Russell. 'It's easily accessible from the Mytchett Road and people can drive into the car park.
'We saw one years ago, and thought 'we can improve on that'. Your readers may have noticed the great cost of second hand books and we decided quality at the lowest price. As we have no overheads, 20p is therefore self generating.'
The activity means the Book Shack has raised more than £500 for the Revive 'n' Thrive charity the church runs. This a service charity which collects, restores and supplies tools and educational materials for use by people overseas.
It also sends new hand knitted items such as woolly hats, jumpers and knitted/crotchet blankets, which are often used as packing materials for the tools, along with haberdashery, sewing machines and schools supplies to places like Uganda, Peru, and Romania.
‘We want to make the world a better place,’ says Christopher. 'If an electrician/carpenter wishes to offer surplus tools or his widow does not wish to see his tools dumped, we take them, sort them, restore them and pack them up to be given to the donor charities.
'The local tip’s loss is the Third World’s gain. In the countries we send to, there is a great need for people to learn new skills in order to be able to work and earn money to provide for their families.’
Revive 'n' Thrive has already sent more than four tonnes of goods this year.
Mytchett is a once little village which is equidistant between Camberley, Farnborough and Aldershot. The Book Shack is in front of the only new church building in Surrey Heath since the 1950s. The Mytchett Baptist Church building replaced an old green tin hut which had been present when Flight Pioneer Samuel Cody lived opposite.
Photo | Revd Christopher Russell, Mrs Carol Hayward (one of the book sorters) and Mrs Rosalie Hill from Revive ‘n’ Thrive