Tuesday July 17th – Newsletter Beginnings

Today I started working on the regional newsletter for CCT (Churches Conservation Trust) West. The region covers nine counties, including: Cornwall, Devon, Somerset, Dorset, Wiltshire, Hampshire, Berkshire, Oxfordshire, Gloucestershire, Hereforeshire, Worcestershire, Warwickshire and the West Midlands. Lots of “shires”, eh? 🙂

So during my discussion with the regional director yesterday he put out a few suggestions for what the newsletter should talk about, and I built on those today. The CCT, like every heritage nonprofit these days it seems, wants to emphasize that it has programs that appeal to young people. So, for example, the Cathedral Camp that was held this week with 16-24 year olds, is going to feature largely in the newsletter. Dr. R jokes about “take lots of pictures of young people in churches!” It reminds me of Austin’s final presentation in Museum Ethics seminar this spring, and how he dicussed his duties as the photography intern at the Harn. The Harn, too, emphasized young people. I suppose when you’re fighting for grant money, pictures of young people is the way to go. Hah.

But while I understand that young people are important to the organization, I think it would be silly to overlook the actual hard work and volunteering being done by a generally older demographic, for the sake of good PR and grant-foder. So I am going to dedicate a whole page of the newsletter to a kind of volunteer showcase, that will take a look at what ordinary people are doing for their community churches. And this ties in with the CCT’s 3-year strategic plan, part of which includes making  the volunteers feel more connected to the Trust, and feeling rewarded and appreciated.

This is only the third newsletter that the West region will have put together, and neither of the previous two has any real section dedicated to the volunteers…so I’m hoping to start a trend with this one. Also, I’ve been taking a lot of photographs on our outings, and a lot of those are going to end up in the newsletter, which is pretty exciting.

I’m hoping to change a few simple things, like for example, the cover photo for the newsletter. The past two issues have had photos of a church on the front…which seems appropriate, except that it makes it look like an informational brochure about the church in the photograph, and not a newsletter about an entire organization. So I’m hoping to design so me kind of graphic collage cover with multiple photographs of actual people doing things with the CCT, so that from the outset, it’s obviously more about the people, than the buildings themselves. The current title of the newsletter is “Go West!”….which is horrible when you compare it to  the South East region’s newsletter, “The Flying Buttress”, which sounds so much more clever. I’ve been brainstorming new names this afternoon but haven’t come up with much that isn’t terribly cheesey like….”News from the Pews”, hahaha. 🙂

Anyway, so that’s what I’ve been working on today. Tomorrow we’re back out on the road, first to Puxton to meet back up with Michael the dendrochronologist, and semi-celebrity archaeologist Mick Astin. From there we’ll head back to Holcombe and take more pictures of “young people in churches!” 🙂

Time to figure out what’s for dinner…

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