Coda Literature


Literature Survey

A survey of UK groups about literature took place in Summer 2008, prompted by issues that had been raised at the AGM in February 2008. A report, based on the findings from the survey, was then written for the NSC meeting on 13/9/08. Following this meeting a visit took place to Fellowship Souvenirs and there was then an extraordinary NSC meeting on 29/11/08 to address in depth the various points that had been raised in the survey.

Feedback from the survey of the group membership is now available for download. The survey only refers to feedback received before the deadline. Forms/feedback received afterwards have been noted by the Literature person, but the not included in the survey document, which had already been completed.

Suggestions from Group Members re Literature
At the extraordinary meeting on Literature at the end of November 2008, the NSC discussed the various suggestions put forward from the groups regarding literature. We now have an Action Plan regarding these suggestions, available for download.

Fellowship Souvenirs
A key concern which emerged from the Literature Survey was regarding Fellowship Souvenirs. Concerns focussed on both the quality of the service received and the potential conflict with the Traditions of endorsing a profit-making enterprise. We have met with the owners of Fellowship Souvenirs and, aside from quality control issues, it is clear that Fellowship Souvenirs is a for-profit organisation (which may or may not dispose of those profits for charitable purposes). After prayer and reflection, the NSC has decided for us to endorse Fellowship Souvenirs is in conflict with the Traditions, particularly Tradition 6 (‘A CoDA group ought never endorse, finance, or lend the CoDA name to any related facility or outside enterprise, lest problems of money, property and prestige divert us from our primary spiritual aim’).  It is therefore our decision to no longer endorse Fellowship Souvenirs. This does not mean that CoDA groups will not be able to purchase from Fellowship Souvenirs (each group being autonomous, they can purchase from whomever they wish), but that the NSC UK will no longer endorse the company itself. Groups can continue to order from Fellowship Souvenirs if they choose to do so. They can still use the usual forms, currently available on the website.

Withdrawing our endorsement is not a simple matter. We have discovered a contract that is over 10 years old, between CoDA UK and Fellowship Souvenirs, of which we were previously unaware. Many of the agreements in that contract have not been met for many years. However it is our understanding from Fellowship Souvenirs that they would intend to hold us to our part of it, although they have not met several key aspects of theirs. As a consequence, Sue has approached the CAB to ascertain where we stand legally. They have advised that we need specialist legal advice. Dagmar has agreed to get quotes for low cost advice from a solicitor, and, once the cost has been approved by the NSC, will consult one. Confidentiality will be maintained at all times. We will advise groups of developments via the website.

We are aware that this leaves us with the enduring problem of some, but not all, groups, being very dissatisfied with the service they receive from Fellowship Souvenirs, and yet having limited alternatives. For the time being the only two options which are available to purchase materials are from CoDA US and from Fellowship Souvenirs. We are posting contact details for both on the website. However, we would hope to be able to find greater alternatives for groups to be able to choose from. To this end, Sue and Dagmar are researching and sourcing other possible providers. Any suggestions from members would be most welcome.

Sue W. Literature Person

National Steering Committee