Christian Herald will cease
Posted: 02 Nov 2006 @ 00:00
THE Christian Herald is to halt publication at the end of next
month, a decision that its publisher, Christian Publishing and Outreach (CPO),
attributes to a combination of rising costs, the decline in reading among
British Christians, the changing face of the news trade, and the decline in
newspaper advertising revenues.
The paper was launched in Glasgow in 1874 as The Signs of Our Times
, by the Revd Michael Baxter, an Anglican evangelist and philanthropist, and
was a vehicle for reporting the Moody and Sankey missions. Bible studies,
theological books, and sermons by popular preachers such as Charles Spurgeon
were featured, and the paper was the largest-selling religious periodical in
the world at the peak of its circulation in 1900: 250,000 copies a week.
"Christian Herald has had an extraordinary ministry over the past
130-plus years, and has been a major part of many people's lives," said CPO's
managing director, Paul Slade. "However, the pace of change in the world and
the Church has accelerated in recent years, and we now sense that its lifespan
has reached a natural end."
Modernisation ten years ago had helped for a while, but that impetus could
not be sustained, said Russ Bravo, editor of the paper and development director
of CPO, on Wednesday. The company is planning to publish a free monthly
magazine, Inspire, which will go direct to the 30,000 churches with
which CPO is in touch. "We think it's time for a new publication. This will be
small- format, with very positive human stories," said Mr Bravo.
The Christian Herald's archive is to be digitised, to preserve what
CPO believes to be a priceless body of heritage. "We hope it will unlock the
history . . . making it available through a website, which will enable people
to discover what a treasure trove it is," Mr Bravo said.