- Diocesan Magazines
From the 1860s onwards a steadily increasing number of British dioceses, especially in the Church of England, began issuing publications containing a variety of news, comment and educational articles relating to their work. Similar examples were eventually added by a number of Roman Catholic dioceses and by various ecclesiastical denominations overseas. The earliest regular example was seemingly the Diocesan Magazine introduced in the Anglican diocese of Lichfield (also incidentally the location of some of the earliest parish magazines), during the episcopate of bishop John Lonsdale. However there had also been a short-lived Oxford Parochial Magazine within the diocese of Oxford.
During the Victorian era such publications were frequently named as the Diocesan Gazette or simply as the Diocesan Magazine. From the early 20th century many dioceses also began to produce shorter monthly news bulletins, often designed for possible inclusion as an insert within the local parish magazine.
Occasionally the introduction of a new diocesan gazette might attract scepticism or controversy: in London diocese there were complaints of early high-handed techniques being used in efforts to increase their circulation.
Formats, layouts and titles have however changed over the years to reflect the changing needs and circumstances of the church. Many of the earliest titles have now ceased publication, usually being replaced by new ventures meeting more modern needs. Typical contents would include a pastoral letter from a bishop or another senior clergyman; theological reflections; particulars of the bishop’s engagements during the coming month; comments on recent national or local news; details of forthcoming events and meetings; and particulars of recent clerical appointments. There was usually a gradual increase in the use of engravings and photographs, particularly after the technological improvements of the 1890s.
Surviving examples of many of these publications can often be traced in libraries or in the episcopal collections held by the local county record office or county archive service (which today frequently serves as the principal diocesan record office).
Examples of past and present magazines of Anglican dioceses in the United Kingdom
England & Wales
BANGOR: ‘Bangor Diocesan Gazette’, founded under bishop John Charles Jones, 1954. ‘Nexus’, online diocesan magazine, current.
BATH & WELLS: Ruri decanal Diocesan and Parish Magazine, 1883-c1917.
BIRMINGHAM: Diocesan Magazine 1905, the year of the creation of the diocese. Appeared initially as the Worcester & Birmingham Diocesan Magazine,
BLACKBURN: ‘See’, diocesan newsletter, current 2010s.
BRISTOL: Diocesan Magazine,operational by 1899 
CANTERBURY: Diocesan Gazette, commenced 1892 
CARLISLE: Diocesan Gazette, commenced 1896 (volume 34 by 1930). “Carlisle Diocesan News”/”The News” (four-page magazine insert, by 1960s-date); “The Way” (colour newspaper of Carlisle diocese/the Church in Cumbria, c2000-date)
CHESTER: Diocesan Gazette, operational by 1891 
CHICHESTER: Diocesan Magazine
DURHAM: Diocesan Gazette, operational by 1887 
ELY: Ely Ensign (discontinued 2007; discussed at Diocesan Synod 10 March 2007).
EXETER: Exeter Diocesan Gazette, some monthly examples, 1902-1911 in Devon Record Office. Exeter Diocesan leaflet 1949-1982, monthly, since discontinued. Replaced by Exeter Diocesan News 1983-date, monthly, still in progress, see county library list. “Exeter Diocesan Magazine” (operational by 2009) Information from online catalogues of Devon Record Office, Exeter.
GLOUCESTER: Diocesan Magazine (37 volumes from 1906-1942 at Gloucestershire Archives) 
HEREFORD: Diocesan Magazine, still current 2007
LICHFIELD: Diocesan Magazine, operational before 1868.
LINCOLN: Diocesan Magazine, operational by 1886; still operating in 1970s.
LIVERPOOL: Diocesan Gazette, operational by 1882 
LLANDAFF: Diocesan Magazine, quarterly from March 1899 
LONDON: Diocesan Magazine, by 1887 
MANCHESTER: Diocesan Magazine Crux (stray issues 1970s; online version current 2010s).
NORWICH: Diocesan Gazette, by 1894 
OXFORD: Oxford Parochial Magazine, commenced 1860 but disappeared by 1864. The Door, 20th century
RIPON: Diocesan Gazette, operational by 1898;
ROCHESTER: Diocesan Gazette, by 1896 
ST ASAPH: “Teulu St Asaph”, online diocesan magazine, from 2007 
ST DAVID’S: Diocesan Gazette & Ruridecanal Chronicle, quarterly from Aug 1900 
ST EDMUNDSBURY & IPSWICH:
SODOR & MAN:
SOUTHWELL: Diocesan Magazine, by June 1888 
SWANSEA & BRECON: Diocesan News, current 2010s.
WORCESTER: Diocesan Magazine
YORK: Diocesan Magazine, by 1892; still issued in 1970s.
Until 2004 the Scottish Episcopal Church issued as a quarterly newspaper “The Scottish Episcopalian”, which included contributions from all seven dioceses. This has since been replaced by a new publication Inspires , which is also available online.
- ^ Croft, P., The Parish Magazine Inset, 1993, ISBN 1 873529 60 0
- ^ Morning Post, 14 Feb 1887: An effort is now being made, with the Bishop’s direct sanction, to compel every clergyman in the diocese not only to subscribe himself to the newly established Diocesan Magazine but also to act as its agent … surely Sir, if the Diocesan Magazine supplies a real need it will soon make its way and does not require to be pushed in such a manner as this.
- ^ Welsh Biography Online http://yba.llgc.org.uk/en/s2-JONE-CHA-1904.html, retrieved 3 November 2011
- ^ Croft, P., The Parish Magazine Inset, page 78, 1993, ISBN 1 873529 60 0
- ^ Mentioned on Edgbaston Old Church website , retrieved 20 Oct 2011
- ^ Bristol Mercury, 17 Oct 1899, page 8
- ^ Daily News, 6 Oct 1892, page 5: The Archbishop of Canterbury now has an official organ, of which the first number is published by Messrs Macmillan & Co in London and Messrs Gibbs and Son in Canterbury. It is issued under the editorial direction of the Bishop of London and the Archdeacon of Maidstone … The new periodical will be published monthly, price two pence, but it will also be sent free regularly by post to all beneficed clergy of the diocese, together in each case with one copy for their churchwardens.
- ^ Leeds Mercury, 18 Feb 1891
- ^ Newcastle Weekly Courant, 16 Dec 1887, page 4
- ^ http://www.ely.anglican.org/about/structured/diocesan_synod_reports/diocesan-synod-mar07.pdf
- ^ Devon Record Office
- ^ County Library List , retrieved 20 Oct 2011
- ^ www.a2a.org.uk
- ^ Derby Mercury, 22 Jan 1868, page 6
- ^ Nottinghamshire Guardian, 15 Oct 1886
- ^ Liverpool Mercury, 24 Jan 1885, page 6
- ^ Walters, H., A Bibliography of Welsh Periodicals”, National Library of Wales, 2003
- ^ Morning Post, 10 Feb 1887 (and 14 Feb 1887): An effort is now being made, with the Bishop’s direct sanction, to compel every clergyman in the diocese not only to subscribe himself to the newly established Diocesan Magazine but also to act as its agent … surely Sir, if the Diocesan Magazine supplies a real need it will soon make its way and does not require to be pushed in such a manner as this.
- ^ Volume 9 had apparently been reached by 1903 www.copac.ac.uk
- ^ Croft, P., The Parish Magazine Inset, 1993, ISBN 1 873529 60 0
- ^ Yorkshire Herald, 5 Jan 1899)
- ^ Morning Post, 11 Feb 1896
- ^ http://www.cinw.org/asaph/news/teulu_asaph/archive.html, retrieved 3 November 2011
- ^ Walters, H., A Bibliography of Welsh Periodicals, National Library of Wales, 2003
- ^ Google Books [www.google.books.uk]; also Nottinghamshire Guardian, 6 Jan 1894
- ^ The Times, 25 April 1878, page 9
- ^ Cornwall Record Office: diocesan records online catalogue
- ^ Hampshire Advertiser, 11 Oct 1890: A diocesan magazine or register was proposed at the 1890 Winchester Diocesan Conference by Canon Blunt. There were eight or nine diocesan magazines in existence, and the ‘Lichfield Diocesan Magazine’ was, he believed, the oldest of all, and had proved a most useful means of communication between the Bishop and the clergy
- ^ Hampshire Advertiser, 6 Sep 1899
- ^ Yorkshire Herald, 6 Oct 1892
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