Who 'owns' the parish magazine 'profits'?
Our Parish Magazine was started in its present form around 1985 - the then incumbent, when approached, said that the church could not support a magazine financially but gave the volunteer new editor his blessing. The editor and his family took on the whole financial burden of producing the magazine; all the equipment, responsibility for printing, distribution, etc. When in profit they made donations (various) to the church. In 1997 the editor 'parted company' with the then new incumbent who approached me with the request to carry on producing the magazine. The magazine funds were passed to me and I found someone who would be my treasurer. I then financed, out of my own pocket, all the necessary hardware and software needed to produce the magazine. Since 1997, like many editors, I have had complete unsupervised control over the content of our Parish Magazine. I get no help, financial or otherwise, from our church/PCC other than the vicar's letter. On a date which I have been unable to ascertain (one prior to my involvement) a verbal agreement was made between the then editor and the vicar that for the purpose of openness the magazine accounts would be presented at the annual APCM. Time passed (new vicars and new treasurers) and almost unnoticed these accounts became 'absorbed' into the yearly church statement although it was generally understood then that the church had no claim upon them. Today, and three vicars down the line, the PCC treasurer claims that because the magazine funds appear in the APCM financial report they 'belong' to the PCC and could be used to pay the bills of the church. What I need to know is - has any other editor found themselves in this position and, if so, what was the outcome? Finally may I say, I do not spend many hours every week producing a parish magazine to raise funds to pay the bills of the church. Bob Coombs