Methodist Recorder celebrates 150 years of publication

The Methodist Recorder has marked a century and a half of publication this week with a special edition focusing on the history of the newspaper.

Founded in 1861 with the mission ‘To tell the truth and love’, the weekly for practising Methodists this week carries a message of congratulation from the Queen.

In a letter from Buckingham Palace, published in the special edition, the Queen sent ‘her warm good wishes to all concerned on this most special anniversary”.

The first edition of the Methodist Recorder and General Christian Chronicle appeared on Thursday, April 4, 1861 consisting of eight pages, and priced at one penny.

The paper was written, administered and printed on Fleet Street – which it called home for most of the 19th and 20th Centuries – with its six Wesleyan minister founders forming themselves into an “editorial council” to oversee the title.

In June, 1903, the paper published a best-selling supplement commemorating the bicentenary of the birth of John Wesley, then in 1911 it published its jubilee edition, including a feature celebrating “50 years in the business”.

Throughout 2011, the newspaper is carrying special features and articles marking the milestone, with a series of events and initiatives planned to mark the occasion. A highlight of these will be an anniversary service at Methodist Central Hall, Westminster, in June, at which the General Secretary of the British Methodist Church will preach and where a specially written hymn, chosen via a competition in the newspaper, will be premièred.

Managing Editor Moira Sleight said: ‘The fact that we have flourished over the years and thus can celebrate this significant birthday is because of the support we have received by generations of readers and we greatly value the ongoing commitment of our current readers.”

The Recorder unveiled its first major redesign in 10 years last January, becoming a full-colour paper for the first time. It is also about to launch itself on Twitter.

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