Ely Ensign

In 2002, I became the new Director of Communications for the Diocese of Ely.  Part of that role was as editor of the diocesan parish magazine, Ely Ensign.

The magazine was launched in 1989 and I was its forth editor. I was to remain so until 2006.

One of the tasks as Director of Communications, that I was asked to undertake, was to improve the communications across the diocese.  Particularly between the diocese and local congregations, and those on the fringes of the Church.  I identified the Ensign as the best vehicle for this task and set about extending its scope.  My aim was to provide a wider range of readable articles and create a more modern image. And with the help of St Edmundsbury Borough Council Printing services, we were able to move into full colour.

The Ensign became more a magazine of the people.  Readers and parish members would submit their own stories and ideas to share with the diocese. As a result, it grew from an eight-page magazine to a colourful monthly of about twenty-eight pages.  The attractive nature of the Ely Ensign commended it to many who did not usually pick up a church publication.

Below are just a selection of articles that appeared in the magazine during my time as editor. You will find more articles on my co-editor, Lisa Chapman’s, website:

  • September 2003 – Strengthening our ties in Zanzibar This article was written by my wife, Margaret, about her visit to Zanzibar with ten other diocesan people, led by the then Vice Dean, Canon John Inge
  • November 2003 – Dr Livingstone, I presume… Also written by my wife, Margaret, following her visit to Zanzibar in September
  • November 2003 – Dorothy Sayers classic restaged at church I had already written a biography about Dorothy L. Sayer’s. This article looks at the famous radio-cycle ‘The Man Born to be Born King’ which was restaged at St Mark’s Church, Newnham
  • February 2004 – Snowdrops in the churchyard Could snowdrops be one of the plants that falls victim to global warming?
  • November 2004 – Church and community work together in face of school disaster Living behind the school, we had a first hand view of the disaster as it unfolded.  And so we as a community pulled together to help provide support to the school and its pupils ready for school the very next day
  • December 2004 – Wishing you a very merry Christmas I always tried to encourage a bit of fun in the magazine. And this Christmas Pud recipe was just the ticket
  • January 2005 – For whom the bell tolls A further story based on Dorothy L. Sayers which explains why the village of Bluntisham had cause to be thankful for the ringing of its church bells.
  • December 2005 – Face to Face – Father Christmas The Face to Face articles were a way of introducing key and interesting people in the diocese to the parish. I though a story about Father Christmas showing his link between St Nicholas and today’s Father Christmas would add some Christmas cheer
  • February 2006 – Homes to roost for endangered swifts Churches are home to many birds. This article explores how local churches were volunteering to help a breeding program of an endangered species
  • March 2006 – Mums the word  This article explores the origins of Mothering Sunday and poses the question is it Mothering Sunday or Mother’s Day
  • December 2006 – Christmas plants Another fun article for the festive season that explores the legends and traditions of Christmas plants