Leigh’s First Parish Magazine
In 1957 the Rev. John Bounds became Vicar of Leigh. On the website, there is a picture of him and of his farewell in 1980. He started the Leigh Parish Magazine, which first appeared in August 1957. It consisted of four pages and was written solely by him. In this first edition, he listed the services and then addressed the parish, always opening with the words “My dear Friends”.
In his first magazine, he opens by saying “Many of you have extended a very warm and friendly welcome to your new Vicar and his family at the Vicarage. For this we are most grateful and we are greatly encouraged and full of hope in our work for the Master as each succeeding day offers ever fresh opportunities for getting to know more and more people in ‘friendly Leigh’.”
He then talks a little about his family and background: “God has graciously blessed us with four children and I give you their names and ages. Christopher (8), Angela (6), Philip (5) and Nicholas (3). Grandpa has also taken up residence at the Vicarage. He has long passed the proverbial three score years and ten, but has only accepted retirement after many years with C.M.S. in Africa and a busy life in charge of several English parishes. Grandpa’s name is Rev. W. S. Syson and one of his twin daughters became my wife when I was serving as his Curate in Weymouth.
“This first copy of Leigh’s very own Parish Magazine is an important step forward in the life of our village. Through this medium we hope to learn from each other how to serve God through the fellowship of His Church, and to record items of topical interest from time to time. The cost of producing this Magazine is rather more than four pence per copy but if we can be sure of distributing 250 copies per month we are prepared to offer it to you for four pence. Special donations towards the cost will be much appreciated, and such gifts will relieve our general Church funds.”
The Rev. Bounds listed a few activities in the village and talked about 1st August, “known as Lammas Day from an old English custom of observing Harvest Festival, and presenting the first sheaf of corn and the first loaf from the new corn, to God. This thought may well be our motto as we seek to know one another and contribute to the well-being of the community.”
He followed with recent baptisms, marriages and deaths and always ended with a thought – the first being “For those who look sunwards the shadows fall behind”.
The Historical Society has the magazines from 1957 to 1964 which follow this same four page format. Then there is a gap: we have only a few magazines between 1974 and 1979 which, as well as the four page format, have in the centre a section entitled “Home Words” which are purely of a religious nature: some advertisements also now appear. After Rev Bounds’ thoughts, there are now headings for what is happening in the village: births, marriages, deaths; brief notes about the school, the Produce Association, the Cricket Club etc. The October 1990 magazine is the last to include “Home Words”, possibly because the Rev. Miles had stood down as Vicar, replaced by the Rev. Overton. We have copies of all the magazines from 1980.
Over the years our Parish Magazine has increased in size. As well as Church news and our Vicar’s thoughts, it now includes more information about what is going on in Leigh and elsewhere as well as many pages of advertisements from local companies and businesses.
All these Magazines are all now stored in the Historical Society Archive.
Joyce Field (Parish Magazine Article: Aug 2019)