“I WISH to thank all who have played a part in the production of News from the Parishes; may it continue to flourish. Farewell.”
These are the parting of words of George Warren, who is stepping down as editor of News from the Parishes after 19 years.
Having been at the helm of the magazine for nearly two decades, taking over from George will be Trevor Purnell, who has acted as sub-editor and production manager for the past seven years.
The magazine in its current format was first produced in 1994, when George insisted upon a joint publication covering all three parishes: Tillington, Duncton, and Upwaltham.
In 2006, the magazine continued to move forward, with the establishment of the Tillington Print Shop, under the leadership of Trevor Purnell and Angela Gresham-Cooke. Now a viable business, the print shop also produces external publications and magazines. The original printers were the Midhurst and Petworth Printers.
Modest George attributes the long-running success of the magazine to his team.
He said: “I am indebted to Trevor for his great help in producing a professional magazine, being a creative sub-editor, for his well researched articles and colourful contributions, for saving the church some £5,000 a year and making an additional annual profit of some £6,000.”
George began his stint at the helm in 1994, after being approached by the churchwarden at the time, John Medley, asking him to consider the post.
It was to be done on his own terms, though.
George stipulated that he must have complete editorial freedom, and to make the magazine not merely a church publication, but one available for the whole community, one that was to be free to all villagers, put in all letter boxes in the parish, and would incorporate the three parishes.
And so, he made it his own.
A team of volunteers was then formed, with Malcolm and Val Axtell organising distribution, Nancy Dallyn acting as Duncton reporter, and Harry Wheeler reporting Upwaltham’s news.
George is modest about his outstanding work and commitment, and has no plans to settle down and stop.
“I’m hoping to pursue my studies in English art history – I don’t believe in age – there are all sorts of possibilities, such as distance learning.
“I am keeping myself very busy, still on the committee on the village hall and doing my paintings.”
George also emphasised the invaluable help from others in the community and the joint effort taken to produce the magazine.
He said: “I must emphasise the help from my deputy, who masterminded our print shop.
“I would like to thank the people who worked on this publication.
“It is not just a one-man band, but a community effort.”
For George it will be one creative project to another as he looks towards his artistic studies, proving that retirement will be bringing many more challenges and adventures.