Your favourite community magazine celebrated its third birthday with a special service held at the beginning of January.
Held at Woodley Hill House in Earley – the home of Network Vineyard church – church leaders from acorss the Thames Valley joined with Reading West MP Alok Sharma and the Mayors of Wokingham Borough Council and Earley Town Council to mark the anniversary of Xn’s launch. The event was hosted by BBC Radio Berkshire’s Susanne Courtney.
During the evening, there were interviews with people who are part of the Xn team – James Hern, who writes football reports from the Thames Valley Churches Football League, spoke about how Xn helps promote the league. He also showed off the trophies that teams can win.
Vivienne Johnson shared how Xn has been instrumental in helping her become a journalist, while Sharon Elliot shared her experiences in helping to deliver Xn in to the community.
Sharon takes the magazines to a number of destinations including Wokingham town centre-based charity JAC (Just Around The Corner). People that JAC works with then deliver the magazines across the town, a scheme that helps them build up their confidence.
Xn’s business development manager Richard McCoull spoke about how the magazine acts as a bridge between church and community in sharing good, inspiring news. He also announced that churches and local charities will now get an automatic 25% discount on advertising rates.
Also at the event, held on Thursday, January 9, editor Phil Creighton was interviewed by Suzanne about Xn’s plans for the year ahead, which include the launch of a new newspaper for Wokingham.
He also announced plans for a new mobile-friendly website which enables special customisable RSS newsfeeds to be placed on to local church websites, displaying stories that Xn has written about them, their locality or their denomination.
Also launched was Xntricity, a new printing arm that enables people to buy printing, including leaflets, business cards, roll-up banners and stickers, at special low prices.
After a blessing from Steve Prince, Xn columnist and pastor of Brookside Church, the two mayors and Alok Sharma helped cut a birthday cake. Visitors could enjoy refreshments and explore an exhibition area, which included displays from The Mustard Tree and Quench.
Phil said: “It was a fantastic evening – a chance to look back and look forward. We’ll do it all again next year!
“I’m grateful so many people came along to enjoy the evening, including Alok and the mayors.