Parish and Deanery Magazines 1875-1995

Adderbury Parish had its own magazine, which appeared monthly from January 1875, the year after the Reverend Henry Gepp became Vicar of Adderbury, until the end of 1892. At this point, parish information was subsumed within the Deddington Deanery Magazine, which went on to publish monthly until December 1995.

You will find more detail about our holdings and their significance below.

Adderbury Parish Magazine:

The AHA archive contains photocopies of all of the issues of this magazine, from 1875 to 1892 in 18 spirally bound photocopied volumes. The local material was originally bound in with nationally produced material, which accounts for the title pages giving a London publisher and editor. According to Adderbury: A Thousand Years of History (p.25), the national “illustrated section consisted of sermons, poems, songs and domestic hints”.

Deddington Deanery Magazine:

The following form the AHA archive:

1893-1929: Photocopied volumes (1899 missing; 1919 missing since Adderbury took no part in the Deanery Magazine that year)

1930-1962: Photocopied volumes, with some years bound together. (1956, 1957, and 1958 missing)

1963: Original, not photocopied, only November issue. (January-October and December missing)

1964-1981: Originals, not photocopies, all years, all months.

1982-1995: Photocopies, with some years bound together. (1989, 1990 and January 1991 missing).

Some of the Deanery Magazines have apparently been photocopied on a number of occasions, leading to duplicate copies. These are shelved separately, in chronological order.

Editorial policies: Overall policy was in the hands of a Magazine Committee, which took decisions about pricing, the inclusion of adverts and so on. Each parish was given a certain amount of space, apparently related to the size of parish. Contributions were sent to the printers, with the editor proof-reading the copy, deciding what elements should be included as general deanery material, and cutting out parish material where there was not enough space. The post of editor was filled by one of the vicars of the deanery, until the final decade or so of the magazine’s life, when there was a lay editor.

Content: Local copy was bound in with a national religious magazine. The magazine chosen was “The Dawn of Day”, published by the Society for the Propagation of Christian Knowledge. The photocopy of the 1893 inaugural edition includes the full text of “The Dawn of Day”.

Cost: The cost of the Adderbury Parish and then the Deddington Deanery Magazine was 1d, rising to 2d in 1919. It was 3d from 1949 and 6d a copy from 1962. In the 1990s, when there were two editions a year, in January and July, each edition cost 23p. Local advertisements began to be displayed from 1915 as a means of defraying costs; readers were periodically encouraged to patronise the establishments that advertised. There were occasions when parishes were not prompt in paying for the copies they had received, with the result that the Treasurer had insufficient funds to pay the printer.

Readership: Reports were made in editorials on the readership as a means of demonstrating the success of the magazine. In 1893 “over 19,000 copies” were claimed, and in 1987 22,463 copies were sold. These must be totals over all twelve months of the year. A more realistic readership claim comes in 1911 where reference is made to “eighteen hundred readers”.

Distribution: The most common form of distribution appears to have been for the parish orders to be delivered to a central location from which a parish representative would pick up the copies and deliver them around the parish. It was, however, possible to have your copy sent by post for an additional charge. Since the magazine was printed by the Banbury Guardian for many years, the central location was in Banbury, initially at a post office in the main square, and later at a carpet shop.

Usefulness to local and family historians: The following are among the many uses to which the parish and deanery magazines might be put:

  • Since baptisms, marriages and burials are recorded month by month, they can provide a cross-check with other records
  • The magazines record many significant events (e.g. the parish millennium celebrations) from the perspective of the church
  • The magazines record acts of individual altruism together with collective fundraising
  • The magazines show the many institutions and committees required to support the work of a parish

Phil Mansell

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