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The following it is acknowledged that our different denominations have different regulations regarding accounting for income and expenditure. This then simply adds to the collective experience. An A5 page newsletter of up to 60 pages and an A5 supplement - a diary, directory, adverts, events in the 11 churches in the town etc - is produced each month. Each print run of 125 of newsletter/supplement costs around £2 a copy. A decision by the members of church was unanimous that the newsletter be free - but you get nothing for free. Why free? Because of the effort needed to collect subscriptions, advertising fees etc wasn't there. There are those who make donations - some quite generous - but the costs are primarily covered by 'if you think the newsletter is worth having then put something extra in the (Sunday) offertory plate' or make a donation. Are costs covered? Yes, they are.
My wife and I have been involved in the production of parish magazines for nearly 50 years. During most of this time we have charged for the magazines on the basis that everybody gets so much junk through their letter box, most of which goes straight in the bin, so if the magazine is of reasonable quality and is bought, then people are hopefully more likely to read it.
Well done you two. There is obviously no 'model'. It's what works for each local situation.
One of the things on which our PCC is united is that the newsletter is a) delivered to every house in all three small parishes of our united (country) benefice and b) it is absolutely free of charge. We regard it as our most important outreach tool and, although we know some people throw it into their recycling as soon as it comes through their letterbox, nobody can ever accuse our church of not telling people what is going on!
Our printing is fully sponsored by a local Funeral Director's Company. Believe it costs about £1.50 per copy to print in full colour (28page A5 folded). Obviously they have a full page advert on rear. In order to maximise benefit to us from their donation, they requested we ask for a min £1 per copy (£10 annually) contribution. This works well but a number of regular readers have withdrawn as this was a 100% increase on previously. Generally, though, this has ben very well received. We use Parish Pump for some graphics, puzzles and children-friendly Bible input, but rely on colour photographs and internal/diocese news and information to enliven the content.
I have been producing the Church Magazine for our village for 16 years. It is A4 folded, so A5 in size, during the summer months when fewer activities are happening, the magazine is 20 pages, otherwise it is either 24 or 28 pages. I print it on a Brother laser printer, which also prints in duplex. It is entirely black & white, unless it is Christmas or Easter, or some other special occasion which warrants a colour cover. The magazine is completely free, but there are boxes for donations around the village. I use Parish Pump for end of page quotes, funnies and All In The month of... Generally the magazine seems well received here, as before I moved here, there had been a long period with no magazine
My husband Paul and myself have been involved in editing and producing our Church Magazine for the last 20 or so years. We first started using Parish Pump when it was sent to us through the post and now find it to be invaluable in producing our Magazine. Also I typed it on an ordinary typewriter using stencils. How things have progressed. It is now produced in colour and is usually 24/28 A5 pages. About 200 copies are produced each month. Unfortunately my husband passed away in April of this year, but I am continuing to produce the Magazine each month. I have to say it is widely read by our church members and is posted to a number who have moved away, but who still like to be in touch. It is completely free but donations are received from time to time. So thank you Parish Pump for making my job so easy and enabling me to make it really interesting. Maureen Tubb. . Clarence Park Baptist Church, Weston-super-Mare.
Sorry to hear of your sad loss. But well done, that you have continued with a worthwhile task. And all of us who use Parish Pump echo your commendation: a rich source and value for money,
Ours is a Parish magazine, rather than just a Church magazine. That way we reach a much wider audience. I am sent articles from various organisations in the 5 villages in our circulation - scouts, walking groups, flower clubs, WIs etc etc. There is news from the 5 churches too, as well as a diary of events covering the 5 villages, all the church rotas and a fairly comprehensive contacts list for all the different organisations and churches. The mag is printed on A4 and folded to make 64 A5 pages - in black & white only but with a coloured paper cover. We currently have around 90 advertisers, most of whom have a quarter page at £30 p/a. This generally covers the cost of professional printing and stapling. We do charge subscribers - 30p a copy - working on the principal that if people pay for it they are more likely to read it. But 30p is hardly going to break the bank for anyone. We have a large number of dedicated deliverers taking the 800 copies around the various villages and collecting the subscriptions annually. I have been editing/producing the mag for well over 20 years during which time we have gone from 3 to 5 villages and increased substantially from our original 24 pages and 12 advertisers. I was introduced to the Parish Pump some years ago and I find it invaluable in providing interesting articles, and pictures, which are much enjoyed by our readers.