Residents across Watford have flocked to the re-opening of a Christian bookshop after it was saved by a nationwide trust.

Yesterday morning, locals piled into Living Oasis in Queens Road, for the official shop opening by Watford Mayor Dorothy Thornhill.

Living Oasis, which stocks Christian music CDs, books and cards, was formerly the Christian bookstore Wesley Owen, but had been forced to close following the recession.

Jane Collier, who sells goods in the store, explained: “Wesley Owen originally stood on this site, but as the recession took hold, the book store wasn’t able to keep going and we were told we would have to close.

“We were all ready to pack up and in the final hour, the Nationwide Christian Trust came forward and offered to help us keep going by investing in the store.

“We’ve changed the name to Living Oasis and will be staying here temporarily, as we have plans to move further afield in the coming months.

“It’s not an exclusive place - we feel we are open to all faiths, to provide advice and support as well as to sell a variety of items.”

About 100 people turned out at the event to show their support, drink apple juice and eat a specially made cake, cut at the opening by the mayor.

Mayor Dorothy Thornhill said: “I think there is a strong Christian presence in Watford – I am a Christian.

“As such, there is a great need for a Christian bookshop in the area, and in Queen’s Road, there is a need for regeneration, which this bookstore helps to add to.

“There’s been a really fantastic turnout today and there’s a real sense of community thanks to residents showing their support.”

Andy Kumar, of Christian band Face to Face provided the entertainment during the morning with acoustic renditions of Stevie Wonder’s hits.

Visitor Gerry Dingley, 73, of Nightingale Road, Bushey, said: “I am a committed Christian and I really am pleased I can turn to Living Oasis if I need advice and to buy items related to my faith.

“The only downside is the area, parking isn’t great, but it’s a fantastic store, and I’ve been made to feel really welcome.”