THE NEWMAN Mowbray bookshop, one of Oxford's historic Catholic landmarks, is to close at the end of June because it cannot afford a rent increase imposed on it by its Catholic landlord.
The shop, which has provided a literary refuge for students and clergy for over 40 years and is based in the grounds of the university chaplaincy, serves the religious and academic community in the university city and all over the world.
But, following a rent review, its landlord, the Newman Trust, said that it cannot afford to offer the shop a subsidised rental.
Eva Jesse, manager of the shop, said she feels betrayed. Five years ago the rent was increased by 600 per cent. Peter Shepherd, of publishers Darton Longman and Todd, said: "A distinguished and devoted Catholic bookshop has shut down and the authorities are unwilling to intervene."
A customer said: "People are absolutely devastated here; when told the news, everyone comes in with an ashen face."
A spokesman for the Newman Trust said: "With the Net Book Agreement, it is increasingly hard for the small bookshops to keep going these days.
"The shop is supported by a number of people, but sadly not enough."