Supporting our local information-providing periodicals.

This event focuses on hard-copy periodicals (magazines & newsletters) and so is distinct from EVENT03 which relates solely to the sharing of information online. However, it may well end-up overlapping with that event. We believe that identifying this as an Event in its own right, rather than treating it as merely a subject for discussion or as an adjunct to another Event, will increase its chances of coming to something.

@@ This page is still being worked on. Please feel free to contact Peter@GoldenValleyGroups.UK if you would like to contribute to his research into this matter. Much of it is being referred to in our Second Brochure. @@




We are fortunate in having a number of periodicals that provide information on what is going on in our region. Many of these are focused on groups of parishes and have a church-related focus, having religion-based motivations as well as being concerned with supporting the wider community. Others are secular, some being business-driven whilst others are operated by volunteers. We are interested in supporting the sharing of information around our local communities and, though secular & charity-minded ourselves, are not going to give one form of periodical precedence over another (although we reserve the right to make exceptions).


Parish Periodicals (Magazines & Newsletters)
Historical links, and the fact that Parish Church Councils (rather than the secular Parish Councils) are responsible for some of them, have led some of these periodicals to emphasise the activities of local churches. However, they cover much that is community-supportive and so, we suggest, should be encouraged & supported by everyone living in the parishes they cover, even by those who have no interest in those churches. Indeed, even though GVGI is strictly a secular organisation, it is happy to support religion-motivated periodicals that are informative & useful to ALL members of the Public. [That view would change for a periodical that was too 'extreme' for us but, fortunately, that issue does not apply at present.]


Historical note: Many parishes were originally based on the territory of one or more manors but, in or about the 12th century, they were adopted by the Church as divisions within dioceses. In England in the 1860s, these church-focused ‘ecclesiastical’ parishes were adopted, often as they were but sometimes with some boundary changes, as 'civil parishes', the smallest administrative units of local government. Confusion can arise where there are differences between the ecclesiastical parish boundaries and the civil parish boundaries - but we will ignore them, for the moment at least. Our focus is primarily on the civil parishes so please make allowances should you find discrepancies that derive from the boundary differences.


We have so far identified the following Parish Periodicals that are relevant to GVGI's Friendship Area. Please note that we are still working on this and would welcome constructive feedback that would help us improve it. We have not yet worked out how to deal with the apparent overlap of certain magazines (not least in #1 & #2 below) and we are still digesting some feedback we have received concerning The Archenfield Group Magazine and The Wormelow Hundred Group Magazine (which may lead us to change what we presently show for #7 & #8 below).

1. The Link
('The Borderlink Parishes') Blakemere, Bredwardine with Brobury, Clifford, Cusop, Dorstone, Hardwicke, Moccas & Preston-on-Wye.
2. Village Pump
Blakemere, Moccas, Preston-on-Wye, Tyberton.
3. Golden Valley News Magazine
Peterchurch, Turnastone, Vowchurch.
4. Black Mountains Group Benefice Newsletter
Clodock, Craswall, Llanveynoe, Longtown, Michaelchurch Escley, Newton, St. Margarets.
5. Tracking the News
Allensmore, Clehonger, Eaton Bishop, Kingstone, Madley, Thruxton.
6. Good News Magazine
Abbeydore, Bacton, Cockyard, Dulas, Ewyas Harold, Kentchurch, Kilpeck, Llancillo, Llangua, Rowlstone, St. Devereux, Walterstone, Wormbridge.
7. The Diary
Little Birch, Little Dewchurch, Llanwarne, Much Birch, Much Dewchurch
8. Parish News Magazine
Garway, Hentland, Hoarwithy, Michaelchurch, Orcop, Pencoyd, St. Weonards, Tretire.
9. Church Link
Grosmont, Llanfair, Llangattock Lingoed, Skenfrith.


Supporting these periodicals is a major (albeit not the whole) part of EVENT04. This year, 2019, has proved to be difficult for several of them as they have faced (or expect soon to face) changes in their editorial teams. EVENT04 has been set up to see if it is possible to help them, perhaps by enabling them to pool their resources in some way. HOWEVER, we are sensitive to the need for us to avoid 'stepping on someone's toes'. We have no wish to interfere where we are not welcome. All that we are trying to do is to make sure that those responsible for the production of these periodicals do not forget that others face similar problems - and to encourage them to talk with each other! After all, supporting Communication so that it leads to Connection (and possibly even to Co-operation, Collaboration & Co-ordination) is what GVGI was set up to do.


Even with ever-increasing use of the Internet, there will continue to be a need for hard-copy periodicals far into the future. This is partly because there are many people who do not use the Internet, particularly amongst the elderly, and partly because hard-copies can be easier to distribute & handle than their virtual equivalents.

One problem faced by some of these periodicals is the one faced by many of our local community-support groups: the difficulty in finding people to do the work. These periodicals are not easy things to produce and they require a lot of time, effort & expertise to do properly. The problem is even worse for (most) religion-motivated groups than it is for secular groups simply because their congregations are diminishing. That they continue at all is testament to the dedication of their supporters and to the needs those supporters are trying to satisfy.

For historical reasons, many of the local parish magazines/newsletters are managed by the local PCC (Parish Church Council), rather than the secular (Civil) Parish Council, and have a focus (major or minor) on church-related matters. That may well be reasonable but we politely suggest that, in an age where the role of The Church is much reduced from what it was a hundred years ago, PCCs should not be shy of involving non-church members. It does appear that most PCCs have already taken this point onboard but some could and perhaps should think more on it.

Advertising plays an important role in financing most of these periodicals. Even though some editors have reduced the task of obtaining & collating advertisements into little more than a once-a-year activity, that can still require significant time & effort. We would be interested to find-out whether or not the editors of different periodicals might like to work together on that. [We understand that some of them already do co-operate informally but we are thinking of something a bit more structured.] One suggestion we have heard is that different magazines could use the same 'advertising insert'. That could interest advertisers who could be offered a wider distribution area without having to deal with different editors.

We understand that there is already some collaboration between the producers but that there is scope for more. A suggestion we have heard is that some of the parish groups could and perhaps should work more closely together on these magazines, not only on collating advertising (as mentioned under Thought3) but also on printing and other matters. We appreciate that this can be a delicate matter with some people being particularly keen to ensure that local parish identities are not lost. Consequently, we accept that it is not for us to push or reject this type of suggestion, merely to draw attention to it.

These periodicals are useful sources of information for people who are interested in finding out what is going on very close to them - but many in the area would like to have easy (cheap if not free) access to all such sources that might be relevant to them. We understand that some of those responsible for producing these magazines have already thought about supporting them online. Whilst there is nothing wrong with that, it could lead to significant additional work (and, without free help, not insignificant cost). There are many many examples of web sites (and Facebook pages) that have been set up and kept going for a while only for that to be found to be unsustainable so that they fail within a year or so. Having several periodicals come together to address this might lead to the finding of a sustainable solution. This could lead us to EVENT03 ('Supporting our local online Events Diary providers'), perhaps even to reconsidering the original purpose of that event ('The development of an Online Shared Diary of local events') or something similar.


Other local information-providing periodicals
The only other periodical we have come across that is particularly relevant to this Event is GV Wye Magazine (here). That is indeed good and it has a useful Facebook page.


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