Monday, May 11, 2009

The bookshops formerly known as SPCK: Judgement Day Part 1

Update 4pm: there are hints in the comments at Phil Grooms blog of an out of court settlement. Have a look over there for the latest.

Even more of an update 7.45pm: looks like there is an out of court settlement agreed with the Charity Commission manager and the union. The tribunal has therefore been cancelled. Matt Wardman has the full details so far. Great news.

There's been plenty going on with the former SPCK bookshops over the last week, as employment tribunals begin today in Bury St. Edmunds to try to rule on the unfair dismissal of 30 former staff members. It says a lot about the serpentine management of the Society of St. Stephen the Great/ENC management Ltd. that the tribunals will be taking 3 days "to consider who the employer of the claimants was at the time they were dismissed" (quote from USDAW press release). If it takes 3 days simply to work that out, then we are clearly in for the long haul here.

The Charity Commissioners have thrown out Mark Brewer and his family members who acted as trusteeds of SSG, following an investigation into the charity, and replaced them on 28th April with their own appointees as 'interim manager'. The interim manager (job explained here) has, in turn, appointed solicitors to represent SSG at the tribunals. With just a few days notice for this, I feel slightly sorry for the poor souls who have to defend the indefensible at the tribunal today.

With the ejection of the Brewers from Durham Cathedral, and Dave Walkers first blogging on the SPCK story since Mark Brewer tried to shut him up with legal threats last summer, it's been quite a lively week on this campaign, after months of silence. Moral of the story: don't quit.

more on this:
Bishop Alan
SPCK/SSG News Notes and Info
Wannabepriest, who turns out to be a prophet too.

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