THE Christian bookshop at the centre of a hard-fought campaign to stay open has officially closed down – but the fight may not be over yet.

Wesley Owen Books and Music, in South Woodford High Road, was told it would have to close after the charity that ran it went into administration at the end of 2009.

The campaign began when Reverend Steve Clarke, of All Saints with St Andrew's in Woodford Green, called on parishioners to begin making donations to keep the store alive.

Pledges from church-goers and customers totalling almost £40,000 were made ahead of the store's closure over the weekend.

However, charity Nationwide Christian Trust were reported to be in talks to take over the shop and it is now rumoured that it has passed into new hands.

Rev Clarke said: “It's a whole new story – someone has bought it and it's going to reopen under a different name.”

He likened the shop to a “church in the high street”, saying it was more than just a bookshop and had a position of ministry within the community.

Staff and customers also told of their sadness at the possibility the shop would cease to exist (January 14) and a campaign group on social networking site Facebook has attracted 539 members.

The Guardian is seeking confirmation from Nationwide Christian Trust on whether the store has been taken over.

More to follow.