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:
- Mothering Sunday
- September 2003 – Strengthening our ties in Zanzibar (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… (Written by my wife, Margaret, following her visit to Zanzibar in September)
- November 2003 – Dorothy Sayers classic restaged at church. (Detailing how Dorothy L. Sayer’s famous radio-cycle ‘The Man Born to be Born King’ was restaged at St Mark’s Church, Newnham)
- February 2004 – Snowdrops in the churchyard
- 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 (Detailing how the village of Bluntisham had cause to thank Dorothy L. Sayers for the ringing of its church bells.
- December 2005 – Face to Face – Father Christmas
- February 2006 – Homes to roost for endangered swifts
- March 2006 – Mums the word
- December 2006 – Christmas plants – the legends and traditions