Tuesday, 16 March 2010
Amongst the tasks of the Communication Commission, in its remit to make who we are and what we do more widely known, is the renewing and, indeed, originating of leaflets. These are intended primarily for display in our chapels and at Essex Hall in the expectation that newcomers and visitors will find something to interest them and some of the information that they need to encourage them to join us.
We like our leaflets to be attractive and meaningful.
In recent years the leaflets have been designed by Mark Howard of Twenty-five Educational, who created the design scheme for our Consistent Identity branding. They are truly striking.
But they take quite some production!
I have worked for some years on the updating of leaflets and on creating new ones, first with Janet Eldred from our York congregation and, more recently, with Marion Baker of Upper Chapel, Sheffield (and much else).
It is not an easy role!
A huge problem where such leaflets as ‘Weddings and blessings: the Unitarian Way’, or ‘Namings and welcoming: the Unitarian Way’ are concerned has been finding apt and high-quality illustrations. Thank whatever God there is for John Hewerdine. Not only has he provided quite a number of superb photographs, he has also done a little daffying to others that were almost, but not quite, what we wanted. (Some may have noticed that the happy couple on the front of our ‘wedding’ leaflet were the same people celebrating the naming of their first child on the rather later ‘namings and welcomings’ leaflet.)
Happily the Unitarian talent for writing is considerably better than our talent as photographers. Last year we produced a new version of ‘Unitarian Views of Jesus’ with the fresh perceptions of new authors. We have just gathered together more new approaches for a refreshed ‘Unitarian Views of Earth and Nature’.
Janet Eldred and I met over lunch (at the theatre cafe in Wakefield) a couple of years ago to survey the accumulated body of leaflets and to make recommendations about what to reprint more or less as was (but redesigned), what to update, what to replace with new versions, and what to make accessible only on the GA website. The most popular of all the leaflets is ‘A faith worth thinking about’ and it is vital that that remains readily available wherever Unitarians gather. We plan an immediate 10,000 copy reprint. But we thought that ‘Unitarianism – the continuing story’ might simply be put on the website and its author, Alan Ruston, was quite happy (I think) about this. A similar fate met ‘An A-Z of Unitarianism’ and ‘The Principles that Unite Us’. It is a matter of deploying our very limited funds strategically.
Our range of attractive leaflets is a hugely valuable resource for the Movement. But they will do no good unless congregations ensure that they have sufficient (but, please, not too many!!!) copies of each and that they are well displayed.
And, of course, if you feel that there is some amazing gap in our information-range, let the Communications Commission know.