Church of Scotland presses ahead with new publishing deal

The Church of Scotland has entered into negotiations with a major international publishing house to take over the operation of its own publishing arm, the St Andrew Press.

Hymns Ancient and Modern already runs the publishing arm of the Church of England and will take over the St Andrew Press if the Church of Scotland's plans get the go ahead.

The Church said that under the plans, St Andrew Press would be operated by Hymns Ancient and Modern but still retain its own unique identity in Scottish publishing, with the Church continuing to publish a range of inspirational material aimed at the market in Scotland and overseas..

The plans are due to come before the Kirk’s Council of Assembly next month for approval.

The Rev Mark Johnstone, Convener of the Mission and Discipleship Council which oversees St Andrew Press, said the deal would open up new markets in the UK as well as internationally for the Church's books and Scottish authors.

“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," he said.

“Importantly, control of what St Andrew Press publishes would remain with the Church of Scotland.”

The Kirk is pushing ahead with the plans after reducing the St Andrew Press to just one member of staff following this year’s General Assembly.

The publishing deal will allow the Church to receive a share of sales from books published under the St Andrew Press brand without having to carry any of the costs of 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.”