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19th May 2017

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Brief background to the John King Trophy


ACE was founded initially to promote a national church magazine competition and then to continue by supporting the editors of those magazines and any others who  wished to join. The association was intended to be ecumenical to a point serving, UK churches of denominations that believed in the Trinity. The problem here was, of course, that Unitarians and others could not join, something that not all of us agreed with. Also there were churches like two or three of our current membership who would not have been allowed to join under the original rules because they are based overseas. That problem has been resolved and overseas churches are now encouraged to join.

The competition was set up in 1999 and is now known as the Awards Scheme. Rachel King donated this silver baptismal shell to ACE to be used as a trophy to be awarded to the editor of best magazine in the competition, and in subsequent competitions. Rachel’s late husband was the Rev’d Canon John King and the family lived in St Albans where they were friends with our founder, Michael Jameson. She had the shell engraved to identify it for the future.

It is very fitting that we should have this trophy and use it. Some members have asked, “What on earth is the shell for?” There are a number of churches in this country and abroad who use a baptismal shell during the Christening Service. Some are silver and others are in materials such as mother of pearl and even real shells.

The John King Trophy has recently been revalued in the light of the increasing value of silver. The valuer also told us that the trophy was assayed in 1908.

Michael told us a few years after the Association was formed that Rachel King had sadly died.

Our photographs show the John King Trophy and Rachel King presenting the trophy to Michael Jameson. The cathedral at St Albans is in the background.