The first issue of Xn was distributed at a special launch party in January.
Held at Abbey Baptist Church in Reading’s town centre, the Mayor of Reading and the town’s two MPs cut the ribbon with editor Phil Creighton to declare the new publication officially open. They were watched by church leaders and members from across Reading, Wokingham and Bracknell.
During the event, the Mayor – Cllr Deborah Edwards – gave New Year greetings, while Phil outlined his vision for Xn.
“We have a mission to encourage, inspire and inform: to be the central point of information between churches, sharing good news and sharing testimonies from Christians living in the Thames Valley wanting to transform their communities for the sake of the Gospel,” he said.
“There are more than 150 churches and church-run community groups across the region and we want to reach every one of them. Each one has stories to tell.
“It might be something simple such as the launch of a craft club or it might be a major project, such as fundraising to build a church in Sierra Leone.
“It doesn’t matter what their news is – Xn is here to share it with others.”
Phil explained that Xn will be funded by advertising and encouraged churches to get behind the initiative.
“Without advertising and sponsorship, Xn won’t exist,” he said. “The peril of being a free newspaper is that you live or die on the advertising you attract.”
The news magazine is designed to appeal to as wide an audience as possible – and 20,000 copies are being distributed each month across the Thames Valley.
“We’re doing everything we can to make the magazine special: an inviting read, something that if it was left in a dentist’s waiting room it wouldn’t look out of place,” Phil said.
To ensure Xn’s success – and to create a loyal readership – Phil urged churches to actively give the magazine out to its congregations.
“Xn is a central point of information for the good news from our churches: we need to get it in people’s hands,” he said. “Please, treat it as if it was something your church had produced.”
Xn was also present at the Wokingham Churches Together Unity service, held during the Week of Prayer for Christian Unity. The event was also attended by the Town Mayor of Wokingham and Wokingham MP John Redwood.