The History of Glad Tidings

“On reading the accounts given in the New Testament of the life of Jesus, how strange it seems that the rulers of the Jews should cause him to be put to death.”

With those words, Glad Tidings began its witness. It was March 1884 and two young men, T H Elwick of Lincoln and Percy Horsman of Nottingham, England, had joined forces as Editor and Publisher of a new magazine. They were Christadelphians and stated their objectives in that first issue as follows:

  • To set forth the truth in its purity;
  • To expunge and erase from every Bible doctrine the figments of human tradition, with which they have been darkened;
  • To make clear the great scheme of human redemption provided by the Deity;
  • To proclaim the Gospel of the Kingdom of God;
  • To demonstrate that the time is at hand when this kingdom shall be established.

Making allowances for changes of style and language that have taken place over the years, those aims remain the same in today’s magazine because God’s purpose is unchanging. But over the years there have been many changes of format, style and personnel, as you would expect.

Packing the magazine
Packing the magazine

Format Changes

When first published the magazine was the size of a tabloid newspaper and was sold at one halfpenny a copy. As one editor succeeded another and as printing processes changed or became more restricted (for example in wartime) the appearance of the magazine also changed, as you can see from the animated display on the right.

What’s more, it wasn’t only size that changed over the years. Colour came and went as finances or circumstances changed, and so too did the location where the magazine was being produced and distributed. All the writers, editors and distributors are volunteers. Glad Tidings has no paid staff. Mr Elwick, living in Lincolnshire, was editor for 14 years. He was succeeded by William Grant who lived in Edinburgh, at which time production and distribution moved to Scotland. In 1928 it moved again, this time to London, where it remained until 1980 under a variety of editors. For the next five years the magazine was edited by Leslie Johnson who lived in Rochdale, although it was still printed The packing team
The packing team
in London and distributed by a team operating in Finsbury Park, London.

In 1985 the present editor who lives in Hampton-in-Arden, near Birmingham took over. During the 1980s the printing of Glad Tidings moved to North West Print in Sale, near Manchester. Currently the printing is still done by North West Print (Jarvis), and an enthusiastic group of volunteers in the Sale Christadelphian Meeting undertake the work of packing and distributing the magazine. Their work is illustrated in the photographs alongside these paragraphs.


The Glad Tidings Committee

The publication of the Glad Tidings magazine is currently the responsibility of the Glad Tidings Committee pictured below.

Picture of Committee

From left to right: Tecwyn Morgan (Editor); Geoff Maycock (Secretary); Michael Morris (Treasurer); Audrey Harrison; Andrew Norcross; Judith Grifiths (Parcels & Packaging); Cilla Palmer (UK Distribution)

Magazine Objectives

A statement of our objectives in publishing the magazine is given in the magazine as:

A monthly magazine published by the Christadelphians (brothers and sisters in Christ) and available throughout the world. Its objectives are – to encourage the study of the Bible as God’s inspired message to mankind; to call attention to the Divine offer of forgiveness of sins through Jesus Christ; and to warn men and women that soon Christ will return to Earth as judge and ruler of God’s world-wide Kingdom.

If this statement is compared with the objectives set out by the magazine’s founders (reproduced above) you will see that although the language and style of the magazine may have altered over the years, the reason for publishing the magazing has not fundamentally changed since its inception.