The Parish Church of St George the Martyr, Waterlooville

The  magazine committee met recently to discuss, among other things, the future of our church magazine, this particularly in view of the recent slump in circulation. Due to a fall in congregation readership and a reduction in home delivery volunteers, our distribution has  dropped to around  the critical 200 mark. Several options were discussed.

The magazine is a net contributor to church funds. Roughly 700 is received by way of advertisements and a further 100 from annual subscriptions. There will also be an unspecified amount from passers-by who leave their money in the general collection area. Production costs are about 20 pence per copy; thus 200, 6 times  a year would cost 240 to 250 leaving a net profit of 550. Of course there is also a considerable amount of work goes into each production.

The problem lies in the advertisement area. If distribution falls below the 200 mark some advertisers will elect to discontinue.  This year so far we have lost 4 advertisers already due to them not picking up any business from their advertisement.

What can we do about this?

Well, first and foremost, please can you use the advertisers whenever possible stating where you found their details. Hopefully this will keep them ‘on board’.

Secondly, we need to increase our distribution, albeit that we distribute free copies to make up for the missing sales. As can be seen from the finances, sales are not as critical as advertisers and the way to keep advertisers is to increase distribution. Consequently we have decided to allocate a number of ‘free’ copies for members of the congregation to distribute at random in their area.  There are no monies to collect and the magazine will be marked as a free copy.  There will be an application form inside for recipients of the free copy to apply for a more regular ‘paid’ copy if they so wish.  Obviously distributors must be aware of just who is already receiving a paid copy!  If you can volunteer to distribute 10 copies in your road/area, please come and talk to me.

We believe that the magazine must contain more church based news and items and to this end we are asking all groups within the church to consider making a regular contribution – just a few lines to say what they are doing and when. Maybe a short item from the PCC to say what they have been discussing recently and maybe an additional report from the Deanery Synod. A short snappy piece from the servers or choir highlighting areas of their work. Money is always a critical issue and a regular feature on the church finances could provide interesting reading. Your ideas to extend this would be most welcome.

So there it is. It is now up to you to keep the magazine running. A great deal of time and energy is expended by those currently producing the magazine and they need to be supported. If they begin to flag so will the magazine.

Tony Rice-Oxley


Easter Edition 2012

The future of St George’s News