Wednesday, October 14

The Cathedral Newsletter

For long-standing Cathedral parishioners there may be a touch of nostalgia about today's post. Frequently Billington's Blog has referred to the 'notice books', which record announcements made at Mass over the years. Although announcements are often still made, such notice books are no longer kept; their demise was brought about by the introduction of a weekly newsletter. The humble origins of this newsletter (or bulletin) can be seen above. Set out on a typewriter, the bulletin would then have been copied in house. The advent of cheaper printing technology paved the way for this innovation! The example above is from May 1980.
By the early 1990s the newsletter was a little more sophisticated. A folded A4 sheet, produced on a computer, included a cover picture of the Cathedral. This version, from July 1991, also shows that by this time the Cathedral was also serving St Thomas More's parish.

Further changes were to come: on the first Sunday of Lent in 2006 the newsletter saw the introduction of colour. One side was mass-printed, with spaces left for the parts that change from week to week, then overprinted each week in the Cathedral office. In a sense the colour part worked a bit like an elaborate headed notepaper.

Today the entire newsletter is printed at the Cathedral, and the availablity of much cheaper colour printing makes it possible for colours and texts to change whenever necessary. Photographs are also now widely used, and the newsletter is printed on A3 paper, allowing much more space for features and information. This is the current version (front and back covers shown), which includes pictures of the recent 150th anniversary celebrations. The growth of computer technology poses questions, however: will newsletters, like the notice books, one day become a thing of the past? Will we all receive news of the parish only by email in future? Time will tell.