St James' Church - Parish News

Abinger & Coldharbour Parish News


The Abinger & Coldharbour Parish News is published monthly (July/August, December/January amalgamated). Printed copies are distributed locally.

During the 2020 coronavirus outbreak, the Parish News is published electronically. Go here to download a PDF version.


Articles of historical interest from Parish News

History of the Parish News

During the war years (1939-1945) there was the Abinger Parish Magazine, a four-page newsheet with ony two pages of editorial. Extant copies can be found here.

Before 1983, there was the Parish News Sheet, an eight-page format containing very few advertisers, producing just enough to cover the printing and of a limited circulation to parishoners who collected it from the churches.

In 1983, the magazine was launched in a new format with many more advertisers. The initiative came from Gordon Kent who sold advertising space to local firms producing an income which almost covered the cost of printing. The circulation was expaned by a team of distributors throughout the two parishes who dropped copies of the magazine into every household in the two parishes. Gordon retained a copy of every issue which passed to Eric Burleton when he became editor in 1993. Eric increased the magazine by eight pages within his tenure which, with increased advertising, produces a surplus towards St James' funds. We now have Eric's bound copies from October 1983 onwards; it is hoped that this archive may go to the Surrey History centre, Woking.

Introducing a new Parish Magazine

Wotton April 1903 Price one penny

"Whoever undertakes to bring out a new parish magazine is bound to show "cause why" such a step should be deemed necessary or desirable. It might be urged that in almost every English parish there is already a parish magazine available at a low price, and that these magazines issued every month are sufficient for the requirements of a rural district. In almost every case the local magazine is conducted and edited by the incumbent. What more, then, it may be thought, is needed for a rural district like Wotton? On the other hand it is the opinion of many that the ordinary parish magazines, however judiciously conducted, are too exclusively clerical in their character. They reflect the views of the clergyman, not of thearishioners. Sometimes (but in making this remark we do not refer to the parish of Wotton) the parish magazine has been made the vehicle of personal attacks, or directed to personal objects. A really sound and useful parish magazine, besides giving the news of the parish, and immediate neighbourhood and delivering religious exhortations and advice, should chronicle important public events and notice natural phenomena, and we would invite our readers to assist us in recording such things as the reappearance in spring of the migratory birds and any other facts bearing on natural history".

Abinger & Coldharbour Parish News May 1998