What’s the Point of a Parish Magazine?
Every year literary pilgrims flock to Haworth, in Yorkshire, to visit the home of the Bronte sisters who produced such English classics as Wuthering Heights and Jane Eyre.
Haworth was in the news recently, however, for the collapse of its parish magazine after one hundred years Haworth’s magazine was a youngster, since the first known one was produced in 1859 by a Derby parson. Catsfield seems to have had a magazine on and off since the Victorian period and we still possess a volume of the first ever Crowhurst ones from 1911. The Rev’d J P Bacon-Philips, the then rector, promised that it would be ‘non-political’ and be a ‘pleasant means of communication.’
I hope our magazine continue to be ‘pleasant’ in its communications. Unlike Haworth our still enjoys a good circulation (we have readers in Wales and Scotland) and thanks to the dedication of our voluntary editor (a thankless task for which we all owe him an enormous debt) is on a sound financial footing.
But will our printed magazine survive the electronic era with kindles replacing books and people looking to twitter, rather than newspapers, for their news? I suspect that there will always be a demand for paper copies, but we may find our parish news being communicated in other ways too.
Of more concern to me is the realization that some people think a Parish Magazine is strictly a church thing. Our is not! If there is a lot of church news then that is only because a lot goes on! Church life spills over in to village life and both St George’s and St Laurence’s are grateful for the help received from the wider village. The Church of England, of course, has always had a concern for everyone within the parish, so that should also be reflected in the Magazine.
The Parish Magazine can only report what it is given, but it is there to celebrate all the good things that build community. Thank you, therefore, to those of you who take the trouble to submit your monthly reports. Community lies right at the heart of the Christian faith. Jesus prayed that his followers might ‘be one’ and I hope that our Parish Magazine may continue to do a good job of reporting all that brings us together.
Posted By: valerie