Angel Christian Supplies closing its doors for the last time
by Jenny Schweyer
Angel Christian Supplies, one of the last few brick-and-mortar Christian bookstores left in the Lower Mainland is set to close its doors for good this April.
You might initially think it has been squeezed out by online competition and the changing face of how consumers shop. However, that’s not the main reason.
“It was just time,” says long-time store employee, Paige. She has worked there almost since the very beginning and currently has more history with the iconic store than anyone else on staff. It seems that things just came together to form a sign that pointed in the direction of ending an era. It starts with owner Ted Hilton. Hilton also owned the mall in which Angel Christian Supplies is located. The area was in need of a good Christian book and supplies store two decades ago, and Hilton filled that need in a space in his mall.
Fast forward twenty-plus years, and Hilton has now been retired for several years. Part of his exit plan was selling the mall, although the bookstore continued to operate under the experienced hand of Paige and current manager, Serena.
Then Serena went back to school and cut back her hours at the store. Paige took up many of those duties, but she, too, was looking to retire. Then the mall’s new owners decided to make other plans for the property. They chose not to renew the store’s lease. It seemed, then, with everyone with a stake in the business looking to make some significant life changes, circumstances came together in what people of faith often call “a God thing.” Although the shop won’t be closed permanently until late April, staff are already taking inventory of stock, planning for a closing-out sale and, as Paige put it, “trying to find new homes for all this stuff!” Although the staff are ready to move on to the next chapter in their lives, the ending will still be bittersweet. It will also be the end of an era for those who live in the Surrey neighborhood where the store has been a fixture since the late 1990’s, and for the customers who have faithfully supported Angel Christian Supplies over the years.
Meanwhile, there’s still some time left to stop and say “hi,” and “goodbye,” maybe pick up a good deal or two, and take a selfie by the sign for the last time.