Parish Management

The Parish Magazine challenge

Editing a Parish Magazine can be a lonely and frustrating job… here are a few tips…You have great news to tell, and a host of interesting people to write for you. But can you get them to deliver?Sometimes its like pulling hen’s teeth!

In a later posting a set of links will be given that you can use to get news, children’s pages, articles, funnies, and so on. Maybe just for filling that odd gap. Or maybe, in sheer desperation, to do everything except (or including?) The Rector’s letter?

Your parish’s magazine has a vital role to play in the ministry of your parish church. It can reach more people each month than will attend church. Really? Yes, because a church magazine can bravely go where no minister has gone before! It can slip into homes where a Christian would not necessarily. In many cases, entire communities receive them each month. Your parish magazine can be the ever-present silent witness to Christ in your community.

Those responsible for producing parish newsletters and magazines are having to spin several plates at once. Among these are the desires to:

1. Provide accurate factual information;

2. Remind readers of forthcoming activities and events;

3. Communicate a Christian message;

4. Educate and entertain readers;

5. Provide a service to the church and local community.

On top of all this is the hope that our publications will look inviting and visually attractive to all, and that they can be easily read.

The parish newsletter or magazine comes in a wide variety of formats, and each editor (or editorial team) will choose to focus on different priorities in terms of the purpose of the publication and its content.

Available budgets also determine the ultimate “quality” of the published document, although through considerable dedication and creativity, high standards achieved by church editors across the Church.

Perhaps one of the toughest challenges is finding consistent and reliable ways of funding your publication. Many churches make a modest charge for their magazines, while others seek income from commercial advertising and are thus able to issue their publication free of charge. Others regard it as part of the Christian Education programme in the parish and supply it free of charge. Maybe those who will not pay for it are those who we need to communicate with most.

CHURCH NEWS IRELAND – is not liable for the consequences of anyone acting upon the above document. Anyone wishing to act on the basis of the above information should make their own appraisal before implementation.