Following a recent internal consultation, the operational decision has been taken to close the Resource Centre at The Old Deanery in Wells from 30 June 2017.
The primary reason for the decision is that over the last 11 years, due to changing user habits, usage of the centre has fallen by two-thirds and now averages just 4 visitors per day.
In a joint letter to consultees and others who have been in touch about the proposed closure, Nick May, Diocesan Secretary and Theresa Gale, Director of Education said, “We understand that the closure of the Resource Centre will be saddening to many. This is not a decision that we have taken lightly and it has involved much prayer and reflection. Our thanks and appreciation go to staff and users who have supported the Resource Centre over many years.”
“Every effort has been and is being made to ensure that as many people as possible will be able to continue to benefit from the resources, albeit in new ways.”
The money saved will be used to support the appointment of a third Primary School Adviser to work directly with schools and children.
Books and other resources in the centre which are regularly used by diocesan Education advisers and Ministry for Mission Team Leaders will be retained at the Old Deanery, as will the William Turner book collection. The diocese is also in contact with the Dean of Wells about the possibility of rehoming key texts at the Cathedral.
“With limited finances, we occasionally have to make difficult decisions. This is to ensure that ministry resources are properly aligned towards effective mission and benefit a wider number of people. Following an internal review, we have decided that retaining the Resource Centre in its current form no longer represents good value for money for the diocese,” adds Nick May.