Thursday, 18 October 2012

Parish Magazine - do you know a good one?!

So, I have offered to help 'revamp' the parish magazine.... It's been years since I played with Publisher and I thought it would be fun... (No comments please) but now I realise that I need help.

I'm wondering,  IS there such a thing as an exciting, informative, well laid out and actually welcome parish magazine? Have you ever seen one? Could you email me a copy??

I have a few ideas of things to avoid, mostly from rather lame church publications I have seen in my time:

A random scattering of articles making it almost impossible to find the info you are looking for.
Font so small that the half of the congregation who actually want to read it can't
Articles framed in heavy black boxes so that even the mum's an tots group looks like s funeral notice.
Photographs so grainy that you could run a competition to try to identify the subject

But I need some positive ideas... Like

How do you limit the no. Of pages ( to keep printing/photocopying costs down) without either making the font too small or having too much text bunched up on a page?

How do you differentiate clearly between the start of of item and the end of the previous one without the morbid black boxes or a schizophrenic change of font?

Is it worth distinguishing between ads for regular events and one-offs?

How much to rely on articles sent in and whether to actively seek out or commission articles you think would be beneficial

Anything else you can recommend???

I feel sure that there must be an excellent website out there with too tips for layouts etc but I don't know it. Anyone else know?

After all, why do a job on your own when you can get your friends to help?


  1. Any good?

  2. St Mary's Church in Hanwell (near Southall) have a magazine which (to me anyway) looks good (I've only got one copy cos there's an article about the intentional community I'm part of in it). This edition has clear colour photos, interesting and relevant articles, on a theme, a feature where a local person (a parishioner I think) shares the story of her faith journey. The second to last page has phone numbers and email addresses for the clergy, churchwardens, music director etc, and the service times, on one side, and details of the various parish organisations on the other. There are some adverts for local businesses (a funeral director, a solicitor, an accountant and a piano tuner) inside the back cover, and a colourful and eyecatching advert for the launch of Messy Church on the back. And the magazine has an interesting name of local relevance - Umbrella - because the inventor of the umbrella is buried in the crypt of the church. They seem to only produce paper copies (on good paper), and charge £2 (although it says £1 on the church website. The church website is If you email them (address on the contact page) and tell them what you're doing, (and say you've heard their magazine is really good), they may send you a free copy (the one I've seen is September October 2012 (so presumably it's bi-monthly).
    I hope htis is some help


  3. Thanks guys, I'm following up on both of those!

  4. I help to edit the Busbridge community magazine which is a sort of parish magazine. You can seeback copies on Busbridge isn't very big so not a lot of news, but we try to keep it focused on the local area.It is funded entirely by advertising. Good luck! Jacky

  5. Get the whole lot of them on Facebook instead :-)