The Church of Scotland has put forward proposals which would see its St Andrew Press arm run by a distinguished international religious publishing house.
Under the plans, St Andrew Press would be operated by Hymns Ancient and Modern but retain its own unique identity in Scottish publishing.
Hymns Ancient and Modern already runs the publishing arm of the Church of England and is a charitable organisation with an international reputation and an annual turnover of almost £6m.
Under the proposals, which require to be approved by the Kirk’s Council of Assembly next month, the Church would continue to publish a range of exciting and inspirational material aimed at the market in Scotland and overseas.
Reverend Mark Johnstone, Convener of the Mission and Discipleship Council which oversees St Andrew Press, said:
“These proposals would place St Andrew Press with an established publisher in the religious market and open up new markets for our books and our authors here in Scotland, in the UK and in all major international markets.
“With the full weight of this successful company behind us we would be able to provide better service and support to our authors while retaining the knowledge and expertise of staff.
“Importantly, control of what St Andrew Press publishes would remain with the Church of Scotland.”
The Kirk had considered three bids for St Andrew Press, which was reduced to just one member of staff following this year’s General Assembly. The bid from Hymns Ancient and Modern was felt by the Mission and Discipleship Council to be the best option and a final decision will be made by the Council of Assembly.
Under the proposals, the Church would receive a share of sales from books published under the St Andrew Press brand and hold none of the costs associated with running such a company.
Mr Johnstone added, “This is a win win situation for the Church as we get to retain our valuable St Andrew Press brand, increase our market reach and raise money for the Church, all at no cost to us.”
Dominic Vaughan, the Group Chief Executive of Hymns Ancient and Modern said:
“The Trustees of Hymns Ancient and Modern are delighted to be given the opportunity to pursue a successful relationship with the Church of Scotland and to be associated with such a great publishing house as Saint Andrew Press.”
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