The Parish Magazine

By Eddie Gilbey

The Birchanger Parish Magazine was a publication written by the Revd William Cam and began publication in January 1884. It comprised a single page that was added to a larger church publication called "The Banner of faith". Which was sold to subscribers for 1d per copy. There are a number of bound copies of the publication in existence, so far I have seen those covering the years 1884, 85, 86, 87, 88, also the years 1908, 1911 and 1912. It is possible that other years are also still in existence.

Since it was a church publication, each issue of the Birchanger Magazine tended to begin with the Births, Baptisms, Marriages and Burials taken from the parish records. There are items chronicling committee meetings of the Club, The formation of the cricket club, the formation of the Parish Council, The purchase of the Recreation Ground and the enlargement of the Church, including detailed accounts information. There are lists of prize winners at village fetes or the school or local produce competitions and lists of those who undertook confirmation within the Church.

Parish Magazine artwork

The original cover artwork by Miss Beatrice Pulteney

The Magazine was essentially a Church publication and there are several exhortations for parishioners to attend Church more regularly as well as forthcoming service notices and other information relating to the Girls Friendly Society whose banner still hangs in the church today.

Perhaps the most important information to be gleaned from the magazines is the identity of the more significant people in the village at the time and their own special contributions to the life of the village:- Revd Cam , Sir Charles Gold, Messrs Harrison, Levy, Chester , Nash etc. to name just a few, they are all in there somewhere.