Last week, an advert appeared in the Bookseller journal, which concluded:
Creditors who believe that they have a valid claim against the Trustees of St Stephen the Great Charitable Trust incurred before 1 July 2007, should write to the Interim Manager at Begbies Traynor (Central) LLP, 32 Cornhill, London EC3V 3BT under ref S8703 before the close of business on 16 December 2009.
Presented by: Begbies Traynor (Central) LLP
Presenter’s Reference: S8703/PJG/NGA/BRS
The full statement, along with some analysis by Matt Wardman, is on the SPCKSSG blog, along with some debate about what it means. A few comments:
1. If you think you're owed money by the former SPCK bookshops, and you aren't already snowed under by the Christmas rush, you only have a few days to dig the files out. Creditors include development charities, makers of Palm Crosses, quite probably the Church of England Pensions Board, as well as book companies.
2. If you know someone who might be in situation 1, please give them a nudge, and quickly.
3. There are questions being asked of the CC about the cutoff date: does this mean that any debts incurred after 1st July 2007 won't get paid at all? The CC have taken over all the former SPCK shops bar Durham (and it isn't very clear why Durham is the exception), and have taken legal responsibility for settling the claims of former staff. It's therefore not clear why 1/7/07 is the limit of legal responsibility.
Matt Wardman comments
Those of us who have been campaigning on this for the last 12-24 months think that the claim for a cutoff of July 1 2007 is potentially spurious, and we're writing to the Church Times and Bookseller to point that out, but the basic notice needs publicity as it gives a "claim before" date of 16 December.
Quite how nunneries in Eastern Europe, development charities, Carlisle Cathedral, craft companies, and communion wine suppliers are supposed to hear via a notice in the printed Bookseller after three years and respond in a fortnight completely baffles me.