For 133 years, the magazine has served Henfield well with a mixture of church and village news and affordably priced advertising to support local businesses. Its remit has progressively expanded to include Shermanbury and Woodmancote
The opening paragraph of the very first issue in 1887 sets out the ambition:
What is a Parish Magazine for? ‘A Parish Magazine has been found to answer well in many places, and in the hope that it may be welcomed in Henfield, our first number now appears. No long preface is necessary as, if the Magazine answers well, it will explain its own purpose.’
The magazine has come a long way since that earliest 4-page foolscap publication costing just ½d. Today it is professionally printed, A5 size, 52 pages full colour, a silk finish and costs 70p. Always moving with the times, the Magazine was also quick to embrace new technology, featuring many stories and excerpts on the Hub.
Key moments of British history have been shown through the eyes of local people and events in Henfield. The story of the First World War was retold in intimate detail in a village where nearly every family lost a loved one. Extracts from the original Parish Magazines were published on the Hub to bring the shocking experience of war home to a modern audience as Henfield commemorated the centenary of WW1. Throughout 2017-18 the Hub published extracts from the magazines of 100 years before..
There were events of local significance too: how the Henfield Women's Institute came to be formed in 1917 and how the Henfield Club was founded in the aftermath of the War.
And looking back, the proud story of the 1st Henfield Scout Group - ‘The Oldest Scout Group in the World' – was retold by the magazine for the Hub
The Parish Magazine has won two national awards from ‘The Association for Church Editors’. The first was in 2014 when it was commended for the High Standard Achieved in the Category ‘Appeal to a Wider Community’ and the second was in 2019 when its editor/designer won the award for layout and design.
Left: Pamela Chaston receiving the award from Major Poxon in 2014; Right: Helen Boosey receiving the award in 2019
Well deserved accolades for an institution that has explained its own purpose for 133 years!