The Church of England Newspaper is the original church newspaper and one of the oldest newspapers in the world, dating back to 1828
It was founded as The Record in 1828 and published under that title until 31 December 1948.
The Church Family Newspaper was founded in 1894 as “The organ of central churchmanship”, starting publication on 9 February. In 1923 it ran briefly under the title The Church of England Family Newspaper from 20 July until 14 September, and then as The Church of England Newspaper from 21 September until 31 December 1948 when it merged with The Record to become The Church of England Newspaper and The Record from 7 January 1949.
CEN has a long history dating back to the founding of The Record in 1828. Certainly from the 1920’s it had become a bastion of conservative evangelicalism; it reported strongly (up to four pages) on the Islington Clerical Conference (the main annual rallying point until the advent of NEAC and Eclectics in the sixties) and the ‘May meetings’ of the missionary societies, and, perhaps its finest hour (for sales at any rate) in the fight against Prayer Book revision.
In 1933 on the death of its chairman Sir Robert Dibdin, it was sold to the publishers Marshall, Morgan and Scott. In 1946 Clifford Rhodes became editor, and subsequently persuaded the publishers to buy another title, The Church Family Newspaper, which had been founded in February 1894 and the two were amalgamated in 1949 under the title Church of England Newspaper.
Following the arrival of the Billy Graham crusades in the UK in 1955, Anglican evangelicalism revived, with growth, new optimism and initiatives. John Cordle, MP for Bournemouth (who had been instrumental in bringing Billy Graham to the UK) purchased the title from Marshall’s with the backing of Midlands industrialist Sir Alfred Owen with the aim of serving this newly vibrant CofE Evangelicalism. CEN had a circulation of 8,000 copies when they set it up independently in 1960 with John King as editor. Under King’s influence, and on the crest of this growth wave, the circulation increased to 19,000 by 1965.
The Church of England Newspaper, which is the longest established journal reporting on Church of England affairs and recently had a complete re-design to keep it right up-to-date, is a weekly bringing coverage of church news and developments, issues affecting Christian life in this country and abroad, features which focus on the mission of the Church, and reviews of latest books, resources and the arts, as well as lively correspondence columns offering debate, and a special pull-out section for church ministers and leaders.
It is arguably the most quoted church newspaper in Fleet Street and in recent years has established itself as the prime source for news in the Anglican world; it is the only British church newspaper listed on the search engines of both Google and Yahoo.
Based in London the newspaper publishes every Friday and carries news of the Church of England and the Anglican Communion worldwide.
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