Read it on the Grapevine
Smestow Vale is the place to be to receive an award-winning parish magazine.
The team from St Benedict Biscop Church, Wombourne, were presented with the overall Silver Award from the Association of Church Editors (ACE) at a presentation at Methodist Central Hall, Coventry.
"It was the holiday weekend, and Jan (Jan Glover, Chairman) and I decided that we really couldn't give up that family time," says Olly Cadman, editor of the Smestow Vale Grapevine. "However, I had a telephone call telling us that Grapevine had won an award, and could we possibly attend. Awards only happen once in a lifetime - so we went."
Following the ACE annual general meeting came the Awards Ceremony.
"We sat through the first two sections - three magazines which were 'highly commended' and six category areas with individual awards [cover designs' overall layout and structure; creativity of headlines; use of graphics; clarity of the Christian message; and appeal to a wider community]. We had really thought that we may have a chance with the 'appeal to a wider community', but they all came and went. Not us! At this point in time, we thought that we had been bamboozled into attending - oh yea of little faith!"
"Anyway, we actually, rather Smestow Vale Grapevine, were awarded the Silver Award and it is such an honour. From now on the only way is down! The magazine which won the Gold Award was a very worthy winner: a brilliant, monthly, magazine, which is a lot of work for the editor."
The Revd Preb Paul Brown, rector of the Smestow Vale Team of churches says "The award is a great tribute to our editorial team. It is good to be recognized for all the hard work they put in."
Lichfield Diocese is running its own Church/Parish magazine competition this year for the most engaging letters/editorial.
"Church magazines (or parish magazines with the church being part of it) reach the homes of many non-churchgoers. They provide a significant vehicle for the Christian message, not least through the vicar’s letter or church editorial," says the Revd George Fisher, Diocesan Director of Mission.
There will be a prize of £250 for church resources or a training grant for the best one and runner up prizes of £100 for 2nd and 3rd places.
Anyone may submit an entry they deem worthwhile. Entries must include the full magazine and an explanation of the context and circulation of the magazine and be sent to Mission Dept, St Mary’s House, The Close, Lichfield WS13 7LD by Friday 25 January 2019.
"I'm glad to be supporting this competition," says Pete Bate, Diocesan Director of Communications. "Parish and village magazines are a great opportunity for keeping a Christian perspective in the local community."
They will be judged in January 2019 by the Communications Department, the Mission Department, one lay person and one vicar.