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Congratulations

IN 1963, for the Church Times's centenary issue, the editor sent loyal greetings to the Queen. The present editor marked the occasion of the paper's 150th anniversary by writing again, and received the following reply:

"The Queen was pleased to receive your kind message of loyal greetings, sent on behalf of the proprietors, staff and readers of the Church Times on the paper's One Hundred and Fiftieth Anniversary.

"Her Majesty much appreciates your thoughtfulness in writing as you did and sends her warm good wishes to all concerned on this most special occasion."

IN RESPONSE to a request for readers' views, the editor received a number of reminiscences and assessments, among which were the following:

'All wrapped up'

Congratulations to the Church Times on your 150th birthday. When I was a 16-year-old boy I bought some fish and chips, and they came wrapped in the front pages of theChurch Times. I found it so interesting and informative that I immediately ordered a weekly copy, and now, 60 years later, I still look forward to its arrival every Friday.

Geoffrey Squire SSC

'Perspective'

We value the Church Times because it provides a balanced Christian perspective on both news items and everyday life.

Michael and Maree Foster

View from Scotland

As a (Presbyterian) Church of Scotland minister, I find the Church Times a constant delight and re­­minder of all that I love and admire about the Church of England.

When it is not engaged in one of its periodic bouts of introspective navel-gazing, it displays Anglican­ism at its best - broad, inclusive, tolerant, quirky - and shows the eirenic, outward-looking face of Estab­lishment.

Occasionally, and often through the correspondence columns, a much less attractive side of the Church of England is on show in the Church Times - narrow, partisan, and bitchy. Overall, however, I find your pages a haven and oasis of calm spiritual reflection, humane argument, and analysis in an increasingly bitter, strident and polarised religious landscape. . . Lang may yer lum reek!

Dr Ian Bradley

'Penance no longer'

Age just happens, even to a newspaper. To a human being, at a certain point, advancing age ceases to be cause for celebration, if it goes with deterioration, but the opposite is true of my weekly Church Times. There was a time when reading it was my weekly penance. That is almost forgotten. It has become a friend, quietly promoting a truly inclusive Church, respecting its traditions, but not being enslaved by them.

When reading it is painful, that's because it reflects, as best it can, the world and the Church as they are. . . Blessings andad multos annos.

Dr Paul Oestreicher

'Dear old friend'

Congratulations in your 150th anniversary year. . . We have taken the Church Times for more than 50 years. We knew Rosamund Essex, a former editor, as a dear friend and co-worker for Christian Aid. . . Her weekly column "All Sorts and Conditions" was always topical, interesting, and thought-provoking - a fine resource for teaching and preaching. Her autobiographyWoman in a Man's World (1977) also provoked much interest at the time of the debate on women's ordination to the priesthood which, sadly, she herself was not to achieve. Long may your excellent features continue.

June and David Pepin

Ton-and-a-half

Congratulations to the Church Times on 150 years of weekly publication. In cricketers' parlance, that represents a ton-and-a-half, and the Church Times has organised the annual cup competition for diocesan cricket. Congratulations for that, too.

In my first curacy, fresh from Cuddesdon and Oxford, I played for the Canterbury diocese against Chichester, on the Tonbridge School ground, and scored some­where in the 90s. My first job offer came from the wicket keeper!

Peter M. S. Haynes

'In touch'

I have read the Church Times almost every week since I was ordained at the end of the '60s, and still do so in my retirement. I value it as a way of keeping in touch with what is happening. Each Sunday I try to read through the reflections on the Sunday Readings before sharing the eucharist, and find the current ones by Rosalind Brown of particular value. . . Keep up the good work.

Neville Manning

'Worth the pocket money'

I was 15 when our vicar in Norfolk handed me a copy of the Church Times. I managed to get my mother to increase my pocket money in order to pay for a copy, each Friday, bought from the local newsagent. That was in 1955. Nowadays, I keep in touch with events . . . by reading the Church Times online. Through the years, I've been inspired, intrigued, annoyed, and exasper­ated, not necessarily in that order, as I read its pages. . . In many ways the Church Times is a symbol of the mission of the Church at home and abroad, a voice of calm reason in a time of instant com-ment and reaction. Long may it continue.

Anthony Clavier

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