Revelations from old Parish Magazines

The story behind the book:

Rosemary and Tony wanted to reproduce selected articles from the original magazines to share interesting information about the early 1900s. By doing so it is hoped to preserve a slice of history hidden in old parish magazines before they deteriorate and disappear forever. By writing this book they hope to achieve this objective and at the same time raise money for charity.

The earliest magazine was printed in January 1908 when several villages launched a joint monthly issue. The last one is for 1933. Sadly, copies for 1911-1917 are missing, but the Rev. Canon Stuart Nairn of The Nar Valley Group Benefice came to the rescue. He offered the facility to copy his magazines for the missing period. This was great news as it was important to include the First World War years to demonstrate the effect it had on the nation.

Some parishes appear more frequently than others, because their parson wrote more interesting accounts.

When a major event occurred, such as the death of the King or the outbreak of war, all parsons wrote about them and referred to local connections. For obvious reasons it was not practical to use them all, only a representative selection.

Although the magazines relate to rural life in over twenty Norfolk parishes, there were times when high prices, unrest and strikes became major issues. These would have affected virtually everyone in the country.

The original magazines were slightly larger than this book and the cost of one old penny was maintained for some time by income from adverts. Several of these have been reproduced, as have a number of old photographs that people have kindly contributed.

Due to age, most of the original magazine pages are discoloured and the print has faded. It has taken hundreds of hours using O.C.R. software and retyping to produce good quality text. We hope you will agree that it was all worthwhile.


Our Rev.elations book has been reviewed on BBC Radio 2 Aled Jones programme and The Lady magazine. Both reviewers applauded the book and to summarise, said it was a good read. The Church of England Newspaper wrote, "...the remarkable collection of magazines offering insight not just into the peculiarities of church life, but the way society as a whole behaved...from 1908-1933."

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