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Looking Back

by Michael Ford last modified 05 Aug, 2021 01:30 PM

As we say goodbye to our e-Bulletin, we have taken a trip through the archives to remember just some of the news it brought you over the 13 years it has been published.

The e-Bulletin arrived in diocesan inboxes on the 20th of October 2006. Designed as an internal communication, the original format was straightforward.

Black and white with a simple heading, the lead story a few weeks later explained:

"The Archbishop of Canterbury and Pope Benedict XVI have publicly acknowledged that "serious obstacles" stand in the way of their Churches' cooperating reports BBC News this morning."

As well as national and local news, there was a 'Watch Out for This' section and, on 24th of November 2006, this featured just one event: Edington Priory Church was hosting the Bath Philharmonia Chamber Ensemble & Bath Minerva Choir, performing an 'An English Christmas' with works by Handel & Vaughan Williams plus Carols for Choir and Audience.

See a copy of this e-Bulletin from 2006

The following year, 2007, the e-Bulletin had gained a purple heading and was being sent to "All ordained ministers, Bishop’s Council, Deanery Lay Chairman and Deanery Information Officers."

The Bulletin started now with "The Week Ahead" and in the news in October 2007 was "very important and timely advice on how to protect against the rash of metal theft."

See a copy of this e-Bulletin from 2007

By 2010, the Bulletin was featuring more local news stories.

In November 2010, we heard that Shillingstone School had been re-located to "Our long-awaited new school building at Augustan Avenue, Shillingstone" and readers were told:

"The beautiful, eco-friendly building offers pupils state of the art facilities in a delightful rural setting and any prospective parents are warmly invited to contact the school office to arrange a tour of the school and see teaching in progress."

In December 2010 the e-Bulletin, like the rest of the Diocese said farewell to the then Bishop of Ramsbury, Bishop Stephen Conway.

The lead story in December was the Bishop's final blessing. The readers were told:

"Evensong was preceded by a farewell presentation to the Bishop, led by the Bishop of Sherborne Dr Graham Kings, the Dean of Salisbury June Osborne, and Lady Sarah Gooch. Representatives of all parts of the Diocese of Salisbury from Wiltshire and Dorset were present.

"Bishop Conway, 52, is now Bishop of Ely, a Church of England Diocese covering Cambridgeshire and parts of Norfolk, Essex and Bedfordshire.

"Bishop Conway was Bishop of Ramsbury for 4 years and responsible for the Wiltshire area of the Diocese of Salisbury."

In April 2011 the headline read: "New Bishop of Salisbury Announced."

The Diocese was told that "Vicar of St Martin-in-the-Fields to be Bishop of Salisbury. Bishop-designate gives first interview to best-selling author Bill Bryson on Diocesan website."

It went on to tell its readership:

"Her Majesty the Queen has approved the nomination of the Reverend Nicholas Roderick Holtam BD MA FKC Hon DCL, Vicar of Saint Martin-in-the-Fields in the Diocese of London, for election as Bishop of Salisbury in succession to the Right Reverend Dr David Staffurth Stancliffe on his resignation on the 30th September 2010."

But 2011 was also the year our Diocesan Synod made all the headlines.

In February, the headline read "Diocesan Synod: Forward-Thinking Church Discussions."

It went on to tell readers:

"A pilot project to give non-ordained church members a greater role in running church services and projects was agreed on Saturday 5 February. The move comes in response to a study of church practice in the French Catholic Diocese of Évreux, and will have particular relevance in rural areas.

"Over 100 church representatives from across Wiltshire and Dorset met for Diocesan Synod at St Nicholas Church Centre Corfe Mullen."

Later on in the year, "Legislation paving the way for women bishops was overwhelmingly approved by Salisbury Diocesan Synod on Saturday 25 June at St Paul’s Church, Salisbury."

In June of the same year, readers were told they could "Have your say over Ramsbury," when the then Dean of Salisbury, the Very Revd June Osborne, chaired an Advisory Group responsible for a wide-ranging consultation "to provide a report to the Bishop which will help him decide whether there should be a new Bishop of Ramsbury."

In 2012 the Diocese was told to "Get Set for the Olympics".

Diocesan Olympic Co-ordinator, the Revd Anni Douglas said: "We’re preparing for a phenomenal once-in-a-lifetime event. Weymouth and Portland hosts an official Olympic venue, but we also have the Torch Relay going throughout many of our parishes in May and July, and there are major events planned in Wiltshire as well as Dorset.

"I would urge anyone who hasn’t made up their mind to come down on Saturday and see for themselves. When the Games arrive they will affect the whole of the UK. We need to be ready!"

In November 2015, the e-Bulletin proclaimed:

"Number 10 has announced this morning that the Ven Karen Gorham, currently Archdeacon of Buckingham, is to be the 36th Bishop of Sherborne and the 9th in modern times. The Bishop of Sherborne works in the Diocese of Salisbury with responsibility mainly for parishes in Dorset."

It went on to quote Bishop Karen who said:

"It has been a real privilege to serve the church in Buckinghamshire and work in the Diocese of Oxford. I now look forward to getting to know the people and places of Dorset, an area I have loved since childhood holidays."

And in October 2018, the e-Bulletin told the Diocese: "The next Bishop of Ramsbury has been announced as The Reverend Dr Andrew Paul Rumsey by Downing Street this morning."

It went on to tell its readers:

"Author of the highly acclaimed 'Parish – An Anglican theology of place', he is currently serving as Team Rector of St Mary, Oxted in Surrey."

2018 ended on a real high when we announced: "In a first for the Church of England, the Diocese of Salisbury has been granted Eco Diocese Status".

Readers were told "Salisbury Cathedral Spire will be lit in green tonight to celebrate the award."

Down the years, we covered the big and the smaller stories from around our Diocese and the wider Church and that won't stop.

But as we say "Goodbye" to e-Bulletin and "Hello" to our new weekly Grapevine, there are some people we want to thank.

Rob Marshall, who launched the e-Bulletin in October 2006;
Coral Dunwell, who helped critique the format in 2008;
Julia Taylor, who suggested new ways to highlight items;
Candice Marcus, who suggested visuals;
Derek Holloway, who collaborated on 'gist-and-click';
Gerry Lynch, who steered us onto MailChimp;
Carole Peters-King, who introduced the 'story-led' approach;
And Michael Ford, who has edited the e-Bulletin since September 2008.

Thanks to them, and to you all, for the memories!

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