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17th July 2017

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Stephen Poxon







The meeting began with a keynote speech from our guest, Stephen Poxon, former editor of the Salvation Army’s flagship weekly publication, “The Salvationist”.

Stephen began his speech by referring to Psalm 45, v1, which states,

“My heart is stirred by a noble theme as I recite my verses for the king;

my tongue is the pen of a skilful writer.” (New International Bible).

He related a number of humorous incidents that occurred during his editorial career, many of which related to typographical errors, including the time when one missing letter from a report of a senior Salvationist’s visit to a Salvation Army citadel, led to the paper announcing that he had been, “welcomed by a crow singing “Glory, Glory, Halleluiah”!


Executive Committee

2014 – 2015

During the Annual General Meeting, the following were elected onto the Executive Committee:


And the winner is …


The main part of our meeting then followed and involved the presentation by Stephen Poxon of awards to those editors who had been successful in the latest annual ACE Awards Scheme.

The overall winner of the John King Trophy was “Pulse”, the magazine of Stoke Road Baptist Church, in Gosport, Hampshire.














Awards were also presented to:

Runner-up:  “The Beeches” from The Beeches Baptist Church, Carshalton

Certificates of Excellence

Cover Design: “The Village Tribune” from North Peterborough Benefice

Magazine Layout & Structure: “The Beeches” from The Beeches Baptist Church, Carshalton

Typography & Creativity of Headlines: “The Message” from Bolton Methodist Mission

Use of Graphics: “Outlook” from Market Harborough Baptist Church

Clarity of the Christian Message: “Crosstalk” from St Giles Church, Durham

Appeal to  Wider Community: “Meopham Review” from St John the Baptist, Meopham, Kent

Certificates of Commendation (Runners-up)

Cover Design: “Crosstalk” from St Giles Church, Durham

Magazine Layout & Structure: “The View” from Mount’s Bay United Benefice, Penzance

Typography & Creativity of Headlines: “Abbey Link” from Pershore Abbey, Worcs

Use of Graphics: “Prestwood Magazine” from Prestwood Methodist Church, Bucks

Clarity of the Christian Message: “The Message” from Sherwood Methodist Church, Nottingham

Appeal to a Wider Community: “Parish Magazine” from Henfield Parish, West Sussex

Congratulations to everyone who entered their magazine into this year’s Awards Scheme. The standard achieved by all editorial teams was outstanding.


Attractive magazine

Lunch was followed by a presentation by our Chairman, John Farrow, on producing an attractive magazine, with particular emphasis on conveying the Christian message.

Here’s a very short summary.

Always know your purpose and aim

Make sure you always have plenty of the right material

Have a structure to the magazine so that readers can find their way around

A punchy front page preferably with a good photograph gives pick-up appeal

Clarity of the Christian message and Appeal to a Wider Community should be at the forefront

The ACE Ideas Forum provides ideas for general articles and features which help to ensure the magazine is more interesting to a wider audience

Don’t get stuck in a rut. Keep the magazine lively and relevant

Plan ahead by storing future ideas

Think about your content and ensure plenty of “meat” and topical issues

Keep a sense of balance between advertising and editorial. Perhaps you can include more advertisements if your magazine is also a community one

Have a strong “people” emphasis and include personal profiles. There are plenty of good stories waiting to be told in this category

Run a “News in Brief” column with snippets about people, activities, achievements and national and international Christian faith news

Think twice about a children’s page. Children have have lots of attractive weekly and monthly magazines today

Humour is a big subject and should be used selectively. Try and use original material, preferably church-related

Use straplines at the bottom of a page with punchy quotes and statements

Including a letters page may seem like a good idea but it is usually less successful in practice. You will need to prod, provoke and invite

The use of creative headlines is important. Think up something which is cryptic or ambiguous. Your job is to persuade people to read the article

It is a missed opportunity if a church magazine is intended just for church members. It is a useful outreach tool and should be interesting enough for anyone, both inside and outside the church

There are many websites, mostly free, which are worth searching for ideas and snippets of information

All your effort in sourcing and writing content needs to be accompanied by an attractive layout. Finally, the editor should not be doing the proof-reading!




The 2014 Annual Meeting


Over 50 magazine editors from across the UK attended this year’s Annual Meeting on Saturday 10 May, which which was again held at Westminster Central Hall. What a wonderful opportunity it was for us to get to know each other.

Stephen Poxon presents the John King

Trophy to the winning editor, Ruth Deverill

John Farrow, our new Chairman