Welcome to the Association for Church Editors
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17th July 2017
Building an editorial team
Have you taken over the editor’s role for your church magazine? Or are you planning to create a new publication on behalf of your church or faith group? The responsibility can be a daunting one for some.
Don’t worry. ACE has plenty to offer you. Here are some words of wisdom, based on the experience of our members who have been faced with the same feeling that you have as you start on your new venture. We hope they will help you.
Agreeing your purpose
Some church publications have a written constitution which clearly defines their aims, objectives and raison d’etre. You may not feel the need to be so formal.
Even so, it will certainly be important to discuss the purposes of the magazine among the minister, senior church members, church leaders, the church council, others. The aim will be to reach agreement on the main purposes of your publication, and its target audience.
We recommend keeping a written note of these defined purposes, in case there are differences of opinion further down the line. Such groundwork will also be relevant if, over time, the ambitions for your publication grow and develop.
Advice for new editors
The need for good copy and photographs
If your magazine is going to attract readers, it will be competing with masses of other sources of information, both written (eg, newspapers, magazines, local free-
To achieve this you will need to write copy that grabs your readers’ attention straight away and use good photographs.
Funding your magazine
Many church newsletters are produced month-
For larger circulations, financial resources will hopefully allow the magazine to be printed by a local printer who receives the artwork from the editor either as hard copy, or more likely today as a pdf file submitted electronically.
Artwork and print for your magazine
Can you imagine the extremely rare and unusual church magazine that isn’t now produced with the aid of modern technology in the form of laptop or personal computers, printers, flat-
Can you imagine the most basic method of production? A church magazine could be created by typing and printing printing off individual articles and tables of events such as the church diary, photocopying clipart and drawing illustrations. Then these would be physically pasting these onto blank pages to produce the original artwork. Hard work!
Distributing your magazine
How you choose to make you church newsletter or magazine available will naturally depend upon the purpose of your publication and your target group of readers. It will also depend upon the circulation, the area in which it is to distributed and the people available.
How about a website?
Increasing numbers of churches have recognised the importance of having a “web presence”. At the very least, this means enabling those who are looking on the Internet for a church or faith group, in a particular town or village, to be able to find you.
Collective websites such as www.achurchnearyou.com can provide this need and are set up to make it relatively easy for church officers to create a suitable description of your church and its location without having any web design skills whatsoever.
A website specific to your church is a huge advantage in keeping readers up-