LIVERPOOL Catholic Truth Society closed last week, after a century of work in distributing Church publications. Organisers blamed its demise on a fall-off in business over many years.
Bibles, missals, prayer books, cards, statues, medals, key rings and holy pictures were going for a song in the clearing sale at CTS premises in St John's precinct, Liverpool.
Chairman, Canon Francis Ripley blamed the general recession, increased costs, the closure of churches for most of the week, and a fire in the precinct from which business never recovered. These factors had pushed the CTS into the red. It had only survived until 1986 on legacies. Canon Ripley said ne was "terribly disappointed" for the three full-time and one part-time staff who have lost their jobs. "It was one of the oldest Catholic charities in Liverpool."
For most of its existence, the CTS was housed in Manchester Street, moving twice before renting its final site in the precinct several years ago. Moving the shop into the Cathedral was considered but eventually rejected, said Canon Ripley.
Worldwide the CTS has31,000 members. Its headquarters in London publish 60 titles a year and has a £500,000 annual turnover. Life membership costs £100.