The Association for Church Editors provides practical help and advice to those concerned with producing church-based communications. The principle aim of our Association is therefore to support the highest standards of editorial communication between churches and their immediate communities.As a not-for-profit organisation, ACE is run by volunteers, almost all of whom are involved in producing a magazine for their church of which they are members of the congregation. Many of our editors have professional knowledge often in pubic relations, publicity or designing publications. Such knowledge is extremely useful though sadly not always valued as it should be.
The Awards SchemeOur experience in judging over the years has been that it is almost impossible tojudge the various types of church magazine against each other.To overcome this we are now judging magazines against others in the same categoryeach year. In one year we judge A5 black and white magazines, then A5 in the nextin which colour had been used. In the third year we judge magazines of A4 andsimilar sizes. We have found this to be a very successful approach.The editor of the best overall magazine in that category is awarded the John KingTrophy to hold for twelve months. All editors and their editorial teams are eligible toenter. Judging is aimed at answering the question "How well does your magazinemeet its aims?" In deciding this the judges take into account the financial, humanand technical resources available for its production. As well as the John King Trophy,other trophies and certificates are awarded for the various aspects of production.
WorkshopsWorkshops are organised periodically in various parts of the country, usually by alocal member. These are designed to bring a group of members and non-memberstogether and update their knowledge.These events are a good way of bringing people together, of making friends andof learning new ideas based on the knowledge and experience of other editors.Getting to know other editors living near you can be an invaluable source ofassistance when help is needed because “things have gone wrong”.The Ideas ForumThe Ideas Forum is the Association's newsletter for members, and is currentlyproduced and e-mailed out to members monthly.The forum provides members with regular articles of interest, often written bymembers, and a variety of other material for use in your magazines. There are alsoregular tips, based on the practical experience of editors, related to design and technology, so that we can all learn from, and share the experience and wisdom ofothers.Members are invited to submit articles that they have written for possible inclusionin the Ideas Forum.Guide to Good PracticeThe ACE Guide to Good Practice is aimed at helping new members, new editors andeditors taking over from their predecessors. It acts as a guide to the betterappearance and content of church magazines and includes tips on design, content,editing and much more. The Guide provides a good background to most of what aneditor needs to know when setting out to produce a magazine. A copy of The Guide to Good Practice is distributed to all current members. Copies will also be sent out to new members when they join the AssociationMembers and non-members may purchase a printed copy from Alan Rickards, ACE Treasurer and Membership Officer, 51 West Way, Holmes Chapel, Cheshire, CW4 7DG. Please enclose a cheque for £4.00 payable to ACE with your order.Printed copies will also be available to purchase at workshops and the annual meeting.Members are encouraged to send any tips and advice which they think may be of helpto others to the Webmaster.
Local GroupsIn the past, a series of local groups were run by a number of enthusiastic members.They were particularly valuable in keeping members in touch with each other. GroupLeaders were delighted to welcome new members for whom the group provided aunique way of welcoming them into the fold. New members were encouraged to jointheir local group with the aim of bringing them into contact with existing members todiscuss various issues and challenges.Meetings were held on an “ad hoc” basis and members brought along their ownmagazines for friendly comparison. Groups were also encouraged to keep in touch bye-mail and to help each other by passing on possible contributions to their magazinesthat might be of use to other members.Would you be willing to start up a Local Group for your area? If so, please contact our Chairman, chairman or our Secretary at secretary for assistance.
Membership benefits include:
•Sharing of creative ideas and unique materials that are exchanged between members•Advice and technical tips from experienced church magazine editors•A regular Ideas Forum, distributed monthly by e-mail, providing more tips and advice•A national level Awards Scheme is held most years to encourage and recognise the achievements of our members•An annual meeting usually in May at which the Awards are presented, the Annual General Meeting is held, a prominent speaker gives a keynote speech and matters of current interest to members are discussed•Free copies of “Producing a church magazine, Guide to Good Practice” provided to all members•Constructive feedback and help to improve your own publication•Workshops in desktop publishing; graphics and photo-editing; and web site design•Future formation of Local Groups to organise meetings in your area for providing mutual support and encouragement•Subscriptions from new members joining after 1st September will run through to the end of the following year