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The Church Times and the Royal Mail: a potential threat

28 March 2024

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AT THE Church Times, we share subscribers’ frustrations when their copies arrive late. Copies are sent out first class on Thursdays, and yet last year’s reader survey suggested that only 80 per cent reach subscribers on Fridays or Saturdays.

We are dependent on the Royal Mail to deliver copies to subscribers promptly, and it is deeply disappointing that it has failed to meet its delivery targets, for which it was fined £5.6 million last November by the regulator, Ofcom.

It is extremely worrying, therefore, that Ofcom is considering suggestions that the Royal Mail should be allowed to reduce the number of delivery days from six to five — or even only three. This would require the Government and Parliament to change primary legislation, Ofcom says.

Reducing the number of delivery days would be to the detriment of our subscribers, and would present a serious threat to the Church Times’s business model. We urge Ofcom to maintain — and, indeed, improve — next-day delivery services six days a week, and we trust that our valued subscribers would wish the same.

Ofcom is consulting widely on the future of the universal postal service. We ask our readers to make their voices heard here. The consultation ends at 5 p.m. on Wednesday 3 April.

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