A SATURDAY-night line-up that included music from a girl band, fashion photography, and free chocolate proved an irresistible draw for the launch of Caris, the new magazine for girls aged 11 to 16.
More than 300 girls crammed into the launch party at the Greenbelt festival last weekend, for an event billed as a “Girls’ Night In”.
Caris magazine, designed for Christian girls and their non-Christian friends, has been produced by Church Times staff, with the help of many contributors. It is edited by Christine Miles, the Church Times features editor. The first issue is being distributed free, thanks to generous grants from the Jerusalem Trust, the Alvor Trust, and the Archbishop of Canterbury.
The object is to provide teenage girls with good journalism and inspiring real-life stories, in a magazine that also reflects their interest in personal and ethical issues, in addition to the staples of fashion, health, and beauty.
At the launch party, the band BlushUK performed, and a stream of girls had their photographs taken by Ric Bower, a contributor to Caris.
“I really enjoyed the evening, and thought it was really fun getting my photo taken,” said Crichelle Brice, aged 12. “It was great to see everyone wearing pink Caris stickers, badges and T-shirts everywhere you went throughout the festival.”
A competition to transform a Caris T-shirt saw ten groups of girls on stage during the event showing off their creative skills. Girls from the audience also shared their embarrassing moments and took part in a strawberry-lace-eating competition.
Daisy Mouatt, aged 12, was part of one of the two winning teams in the T-shirt competition. “We spent all day Saturday working on it, so we were really excited to win. Our T-shirt was kind of half-punk, half-girly.
“Everyone screamed and cheered for us to win. But my mum screamed when she found out that we’d won a month’s supply of Divine chocolate.”
The Caris Girls’ Night In was hosted by Rachel Gardner, a schools’ worker in Harrow and the creative director of Romance Academy, and by Jude Adam from the Greenbelt team. They rounded the evening off by giving out goodie bags and praying for the new magazine.
Over the weekend, 7500 copies of Caris were given out, and many Greenbelters grabbed some to take back to their churches and youth-group leaders. Teachers also visited the Caris stand to pick up copies for their schools, and youthwork courses also requested copies.
Free copies of Caris are available to individuals and youth groups. To order a copy (or copies), visit www. carismag.co.uk. Caris subscriptions cost £8 a year, including p. & p., or from £1 per copy for group orders.