A small Christian bookstore in Concord is closing after 35 years. Since New Hampshire is one of the least-religious states in the nation I had assumed they were victims of secular indifference but not so, according to this story that ran in the Monitor.
Declining membership shuttered two of Concord’s iconic churches in the last four years. Christ the King Parish’s Sacred Heart church on Pleasant Street has been converted into condos; another of the parish’s churches, St. Peter’s, closed last year and is supposed to be torn down to make way for housing as well.
But Jane Cheeseman isn’t so sure that a shift toward secularism is part of the problem. There are plenty of new churches coming in, she said, although you might not notice them – they may share space with a church, or be housed in a nontraditional building.
And Mark Cheeseman said his clientele extends beyond the Capital City; many of his customers are centrally located churches, but people also drive for miles to visit the “destination” store.
No, he’s putting the blame squarely on Amazon.
“Amazon at one time said their first goal was to take out bookstores, and they’ve done a pretty good job of that,” he said. “Approximately 50 percent of Christian bookstores across the country, and now maybe even more of that, and a lot of the general market stores, have been taken out.”