Sarum College Re-Opening Update (July 2020)

Dear friends

It gives me great pleasure to announce that Sarum College will re-open to the public on 1 August 2020.  Visit this page for an overview of our enhanced cleaning and safety measures.

From the day the buildings closed in March, our academic team immediately rose to the challenge of converting all on-site work online so that students in ministry, spiritual direction, postgraduate and Exploring Theology courses could continue their study and these have now finished for the year.  Our library is running a weekly collection service until we open next month.  

We are now finalising processes, policies and the equipment set-up to ensure the buildings are a safe environment for our staff and guests.  The College leadership team is working on a recovery plan and the main elements of this are in place. Some of this recovery has to attend closely to the harsh realities of finance. 

Public safety measures will have a significant impact on our physical and financial capacity. So like many of you, we are working with a smaller budget. We are reviewing our finances to see where we can make savings while maintaining our commitment to learning and indeed developing capacity in our virtual learning space. 

Books are central to the generation and spread of ideas and we will continue to help feed the appetite of all those who come to Sarum to learn.  The financial pressure on our charitable work, however, means we must close the Sarum College Bookshop. We are sorry to make this decision. It is a tremendous sadness to us and will be to those who have enjoyed its services over many years. We are working with suppliers to ensure we continue to offer students fairly priced books.  

In a world where the dominant narrative of this deadly virus has been scientific and economic, we shall need to attend to the spiritual and theological questions it presents. The global effect of this virus has sharpened the focus and need for life-affirming theology. Sarum has been doing this all along and will continue to do so by making the best use of the resources, expertise and the deep well of good will at our disposal.  

with warm wishes from all us at Sarum  

Sarum College Principal James Woodward

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20 Responses to Sarum College Re-Opening Update (July 2020)

  1. Robin Evans says:

    Really sorry to hear about the bookshop. It’s been an important part of the MA experience, and I have always enjoyed being able to browse in spare moments.
    Is it really such a drain on college finances?

    • Christine Nielsen-Craig says:

      We are sorry too and the Trustees haven’t made this decision lightly. The College is very reliant on hospitality and events, which in turn helped to support the bookshop. There will be changes across the College to help recover from the financial crisis. Meantime, we are working with suppliers to continue access to books to support our students and hope to continue to offer second-hand books in due course.

  2. Adrian Light says:

    Such a shame you feel it necessary to close the bookshop. I used to enjoy browsing and finding little gems amongst the books. I know books can be bought online but its not the same as actually flicking through the pages to decide if you want to buy it. Also it wasn’t just the books but all the other things as well like candles and cards and well… the list is endless.

    • Christine Nielsen-Craig says:

      We agree, of course, and thank you for your support of the shop previously.
      Sadly the financial impact of closing for four months during what would have been a busy period of courses and events, as well as hosting international study tours, choir groups, tourists and so on, has been enormous. We are so privileged to be in the beautiful Salisbury Cathedral Close. Some people may assume affluence by virtue of our location but Sarum College is a charity with no external funding from church or governmental bodies and we operate on small margins to keep costs down for students and visitors. If you would like to make a donation or become a friend of Sarum College please visit this webpage

  3. Fi Ivin says:

    Thrilled to hear you are re-opening. I know you have all been working incredibly hard and have wondered sometimes if you are managing to sleep at all with all that must have needed doing! We have missed our visits to you but have both benefitted from joining Exploring Theology which I’ve wanted to do but live too far away to attend. It’s been brilliant. – So well done.
    Terribly saddened to hear that, that fabulous little hub that draws students and locals in,The Book Shop, is a casualty of the pandemic. I had long hoped it might someday turn into a bookshop and coffee shop. I am sure we will all mourn its demise. It cannot have been an easy decision.

    • Christine Nielsen-Craig says:

      Thank you, Fi – indeed it was a painful decision. Glad you’ve enjoyed the Exploring Theology course and look forward to welcoming you back to the College.

  4. Ron hart says:

    The college bookshop has reached beyond the student body to others. It is really sad it can’t be maintained in some form, even if only on Saturdays.

  5. Rt. Rev. Peter B.Price says:

    So pleased you are opening again. Devastated about the book shop – been keeping my list of books to order in case you would be able to keep going. Thank you to all who have been so good at providing me with brain and spirit food for so many years. As a former Foundation Trustee I am delighted that the good work of the Founders is gaining fresh traction and will hold you in my thoughts and prayers.

  6. Pam McKellen says:

    Th e Sarum bookshop has always been a haven as well as a supplier of good books! It was an important calling place whenever near to Salisbury or on a Sarum course. Very sorry to see it go, but thank you for having been there!

  7. Clare Callanan says:

    Oh no! Sarum College Bookshop has been a part of my life since first coming to STETS IN 2001. What a loss. Can I take this chance to thank all those who have worked catheters tirelessly over the years. And especially with me building up my pile behind the desk over the course of a stay and then paying with a rush as I was leaving. So much an integral part of any visit to the College. I am so sorry to hear of the decision. Thank you for all the browsing hours…. Clare Callanan

  8. Vernon Chandler says:

    How can someone make a financial gift to Sarum?

  9. Andy (TQQ graduate) says:

    I had weeded-out a dozen boxes of second-hand books during lockdown to bring down to you. Any suggestions, please?

  10. Sylvia Phillips says:

    So sorry about the bookshop, but hoping that there will be access to some for courses. have enjoyed and benefited from many Bible study breaks and hope to continue in the future (working out logistics for November.) Thank you so much for all you have offered and my prayers for the future.

    • Christine Nielsen-Craig says:

      Thank you for your understanding and prayers, Sylvia – we will ensure that our students have access to fairly priced books.

  11. Lynne Baron says:

    Great to hear that the college is re-opening! I will look forward to a visit and a few days in the library!

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