After a significant absence, the Presbyterian Church in Ireland’s denominational magazine, The Presbyterian Herald, is back.
In any given year the 10,000 Herald subscribers would receive eight monthly copies and two double editions, July and August and a Christmas/New Year edition. As Herald editor, Sarah Harding, explained, the magazine’s production team had to pause publication back in March, with the Easter edition, due to the pandemic, “but the Herald is back for 2021, and we will be publishing four bumper editions throughout this coming year,” she said.
“The decision was taken to allow for flexibility, as well as reducing risk around production and distribution. In this first edition of the year, which we have called ‘Standing in hope’, we look back at 2020 and hear the stories and experiences of Presbyterians across Ireland. We also take a global perspective and hear how people from our partner churches around the world are coping. As we look forward into this year, our Moderator, Dr David Bruce, encourages us to be people of resilience and hope – facing whatever lies ahead together.”
Sarah continued, “In this issue we also sought to reflect the wide range of experiences of the pandemic. In the article ‘Taking stock’, for example, several Presbyterians share their thoughts. Despite the many difficulties and uncertainties, I think that there is a bold resilience that comes through in these articles, with God’s people continuing to trust him in all situations.”
With a publication heritage going back to the Missionary Herald, first published in 1843, the new 64- page Winter edition of the Presbyterian Herald includes regular features ‘News in the round’, ‘As I see it’ and news from the home and overseas mission fields in the ‘Mission Connect’ supplement – including prayer points. There are also articles on how each of our virtual lives have been transformed, as a result of the pandemic, and on the home front there is also a report on how staff and residents in PCI’s residential care homes have coped throughout the current crisis.
With so much that has changed over the past 10 months, even the publication of the Herald had to be undertaken to ensure the teams’ safety, with much of the production taking place remotely. “We recognise it’s been a very difficult time for everyone, I also appreciate that many of our readers may be feeling a little disconnected from their congregations, or indeed the wider Presbyterian family,” Sarah said.
“We hope, however, that through the Herald our readers in congregations across Ireland might regain some of that connection – and the good news is that for 2021 the Herald will be free to everyone, so please can I encourage you to avail of this offer. On a personal note, I would like to thank the team and contributors who made this edition possible, and our subscribers and agents for their patience and support throughout this time. I would also like to welcome any new readers to the magazine.”
The Presbyterian Herald – Winter 2021 copy is available to read and download online.
It is intended that each edition will be physically printed, unless restrictions make this unfeasible. While copies of the Winter edition have been distributed to PCI’s Herald Agents, who will ensure subscribers receive them safely, it is also available to view free of charge as a PDF copy here on the PCI website, and also available along with back copies of The Herald and other PCI publications at issuu.com/presbyterianireland.
The Spring edition of the Presbyterian Herald will be available in April.