A FAMILY-run York bookshop is closing today after more than half a century.

Staff at Barbican Bookshop in Fossgate, which specialises in Christian books, has run for 53 years including 46 in its current location.

It will say a final farewell to customers with a thanksgiving service at 3pm this afternoon.

Manager Andy Bingham said the Rev Tim Roberts, of St Michael le Belfrey Church, would be conducting the short service in the shop for customers and staff.

Mr Bingham said: “We are wanting to make it a day of celebration of the shop, not a day of sadness at the closure after 53 years.

“The shop has been a beacon of light on the high street for the church community in York and it is much loved and much cherished by customers all over the country.

“We have had a lot of people getting in touch since the closure was announced, both in letters and emails expressing their sadness that the shop is closing.”

He said that, despite staff working tirelessly to adapt to a changing trading environment, the financial realities of the economic climate had caught up with them.

He said the owners of the building were currently looking at the options for its future use.

The Barbican is known for its eclectic stock, including railway and aviation books as well as its core range of Christian titles.

The shop opened in Walmgate Bar in 1961, owned by Dick Rollinson. It moved to Fossgate six years later and Les and Jean Bingham took over as owners in 1973. It has been in their family since and is now run by Andy, their son.

The shop was bought by the Christian bookshop company Wesley Owen in 2006.