Bolton’s only Christian bookshop is planning to re-open as an independent business.

The specialist bookshop, based on Deansgate, is currently part of Christian Literature Crusade (CLC).

However, the shop is planning to go solo following the announcement that seven other CLC stores across the country will close.

Jamie Hill, commercial director for CLC International, said: “We have run Christian bookshops in the UK and around the world for nearly 80 years and the way people shop has shifted dramatically.

“The rise of internet shopping is a big part of that, but also the collapse of the high street shopping model has hit us hard. For many years now we as a charity have propped up the model but it has become increasingly unsustainable and has forced us to seek different models.”

Rather than close the Bolton store completely after the CLC closes seven of its 11 stores in the new year, the company offered manager David Thurairatnam the chance to re-open independently with its support. Mr Hill added: “We are thrilled David is looking to take on the Bolton store. He is an innovative entrepreneur who will thrive as he is able to fully steer the shop and respond to the climate around him.”

Mr Thurairatnam believes that high-street bookshops offer more than their online counterparts. He said: “There are many things you can’t order online because you have to be able to touch, feel or look through them. People come to the shop to talk and pray. They find this place to be a peaceful environment. I’m very excited, but there’s also a certain amount of concern. We really need the support and prayers of the Christian community to take the business forward.”

The shop was previously threatened with closure in 2010 when parent company Send The Light (STL) folded, but CLC stepped in to save the store. It was also revealed last year that the YMCA, which owns the block on Deansgate where the store is based, has plans to demolish the building. Many of the other shops on the block have closed, but because we’re very specialised, we’ve continued to have a fantastic footfall,” Mr Thurairatnam added.