In preparation for this edition, the Premier Christianity team spent days scouring volume after volume of archived magazines. We had great fun: laughing at the funny clothes, pointing out hilarious typos and discovering at least one unbelievably sexist column from 1979 (Sue Ritter, are you still out there somewhere?). I’m sure that in 50 years’ time, someone will be doing the same to our work.
Overall, however, we’ve been reminded of just how much love and dedication has been poured into the magazine (in all its incarnations) over the last five decades. We are standing on the shoulders of giants. Firstly, the people who dreamt up a Christian publication that would talk in normal language about real life. Then, the subsequent editors, journalists and designers who have faithfully produced it every month. And, of course, readers old and new who have watched the magazine develop into what it is today.
A poignant moment occurred when I came across a magazine cover detailing the plight of the Vietnamese boat people, refugees of war in the 1970s. How little things have changed, as we watch the tragedy of others displaced by conflict now seeking refuge on European shores.
In our news analysis we ask whether we can look beyond the ‘migrant’ label that often acts as a barrier to recognising the humanity of those involved. As Jamie Cutteridge says of the situation in Calais: ‘Every single one of those 5,000 refugees in that camp are beautiful, unique human beings, perfectly created in the image of God.’
While there is much to do, there is also much to celebrate, and this month we begin a three-part series detailing the social action revolution that has taken place in the UK Church in recent years. Our interview with Australian activist and pastor Jarrod McKenna, also reminds us that it is when the Church stands up for the least, the last and the lost that we begin to look most like Jesus. Whatever the passing fashion trends may have brought in 50 years, that hasn’t changed.
Thanks for joining us on this adventure.