St Thomas' Brampton and St Peter's Holymoorside, Chesterfield
Church Magazine History
Our vision statement: Sharing the love of Jesus


Main Magazine Page
The Parish Magazine was first published in c1870. The information below is what has been gleaned from old editions we have found. We know it has not been published continuously since 1870 but we are unsure how long each 'style' ran for. The first edition of the Magazine in its current series was published in December 1976.

c 1870
magazine1879cover Published monthly, the title of the magazine was Home Words. Page size was about two thirds the size of A4 and consisted of some twenty or so pages closely typed and all for the sum of one penny. However although it had St Thomas' name on the front cover it was a magazine externally produced for a number of churches. There is a lot to read but nothing about St Thomas' in the magazine.
Read the September 1879 edition

c 1904
magazine1879cover Again published monthly, the title of the magazine had changed to S.Thomas', Chesterfield Parish Magazine. Page size was now slightly larger and consisted of some thirty or so pages, again closely typed. The price is unknown. The service times of St Thomas' together with 'Walton Mission' and Holymoorside are displayed on the front cover. The majority was an externally produced supplement, called The Dawn of Day. However there were four pages specific to the parish. These had a Rector's letter, news, the register (a list of baptisms, marriages and burials) and the offertories. Inside the front cover, back cover, on the back cover and two other pages were now local advertisements.
Read the October 1904 edition

c 1933
magazine1879cover Still published monthly, the title of the magazine had changed to Parish Magazine. Page size had not changed but now there was no external supplement now and consisted of eighteen pages. It was less closely typed and easier to read. The price was two pence. The magazine now includes St Mark's Church. The front cover was coloured with a black and white photograph of the interior of St Thomas' on it. It contained lots of information about what was going on at in the churches in the parish, a couple of articles (e.g. a transcript of a sermon), the register and five pages of local advertisements. The edition here included the parish accounts.
Read the March 1933 edition

c 1947
The magazine had changed little from 1933, it even had the same picture on the cover! A supplement The Symbol had been added and the price had risen to three pence.

c 1963
magazine1879cover Published monthly, the title of the magazine had changed to Brampton St Thomas Parish Magazine. Page size was now about A5. There were now forty pages but this included two external supplements, Church News and Derby Diocesan News The price was now six pence. The magazine no longer included St Mark's Church (not sure why as it did not become a parish in its own right until later). The front cover was now glossy with a bit of colour with a black and white photograph on it. It contained lots of information about what was going on at in the churches in the parish, a Rector's Letter, Parish Notes, a couple of articles (e.g. in this edition 'A History of Brampton Church -part 17), the register and fifteen pages of local advertisements. The edition here included the parish accounts.
Read the May 1963 edition

1976 to Present
The Magazine was called 'Spearhead' and kept this name until in November 1992 when the name was then changed to 'Ploughshare'.

The magazine was initially a joint production between our parish of St Thomas' and our neighbour, St Mark's. In December 1980 St Mark's began their own publication.

Doug Inger edited the magazine for fifteen years until November 1991. Sue Ward then took over and was editor for 14 years until 2006. (Read article here about Sue.) Mark Hoare was then editor until 2014. The editorial team is now Millie Guthrie, Marie Witham and Paul Simonds.

The magazine has been and continues to be produced six times a year.

This is the Editorial from the first edition in December 1976 setting out the reasons behind producing 'Spearhead'

'Of course, we are crazy. As everyone in the world of publishing knows, it is only the large circulation journals, which can attract big advertising revenues, which can survive today without being subsidized by their publishers.

The production of Spearhead is an act of faith: and faith looks crazy to those who do not share it.
The enterprise has grown out of the conviction of some members of the local churches and the enthusiasm of a small editorial working party. The conviction is that the church has something important and exciting to proclaim; and that this message doesn't concern only those who come to church on Sunday, but also the much greater number who don't.

Our title is borrowed from the emblem of St Thomas (a spear and builder's square), the apostle, who, according to legend, went to India to establish a church and suffered martyrdom by a spear thrust. The church must reach out in love to others - that's standing orders. The magazine is intended to be a spearhead of the church's outward thrust.

The first reaction to Spearhead by some old-fashioned church people may be, 'This doesn't seem to be a church magazine at all'. True it will not be the churches' domestic news-sheet. (This necessary function will be fulfilled by a suitable leaflet produced within each church.)

Jesus was concerned very little about 'religion', but very much with people and their needs. He had come to enable people to enjoy fulness of life. Anything and everything which affected the quality of their lives was his concern. Spearhead will try to deal adequately with significant things in the life of the churches, but its chief concern will be that of Jesus: the ordinary life of people.

Spearhead begins as a six-page magazine published every two months.'

About Spearhead
Ploughshare Cover For the first two years the magazine, from December 1977, the magazine was a broadsheet. It changed to its current format December 1978.

In 1981 St Thomas' 150th birthday was celebrated with a series of events. A designer created the symbol to be used on publicity material, and it was so good it was used until the name changed to 'Ploughshare'. It embodies the spear (hence 'Spearhead') and builder's square - the traditional signs of St. Thomas - and people joined in fellowship looking towards the cross.

St. Thomas was a Jew whose Syriac name means 'the twin'. He was well known from the Bible story, of doubting without proof.

In the first quarter of the 3rd century a number of "apocryphal" tales called the Acta Thomas, told of how the apostles divided up the world for their work. It was said that St Thomas was allocated India, and when he was asked by a Pathan King what he would do, Thomas answered that he was a carpenter and builder, and would build the king a palace (but in the next world!).

In the Punjab there is a community of Christians who call themselves the Christians of St.Thomas and claim to have been evangelised by him. They have an oral tradition that he was martyred by spears on the "Big Hill" eight miles from Madras.

St. Thomas is the patron saint of architects, builders, carpenters, India, masons, and is invoked on behalf of the blind.

In art he is mostly depicted holding a spear or lance (Indian mythology) and sometimes with a builder's square. His early spiritual "blindness" accounts for this link with the blind. Not a provable, accurate, life story - but that is what the symbol means!
(Spearhead) We Are The Best
(December 1991 edition of magazine)

In November 1991 'Spearhead' won the award for the best magazine in Derby diocese.

It must be true, because it's in the Derbyshire Times Spearhead has been judged the best Parish Magazine in the Diocese.

You can understand, I hope, that this brings a great deal of personal satisfaction, not because of anything I have done, but because Spearhead stems from a living Church, with a lot of great people doing a lot of good things. And it is good that the local newspaper can report something like this success, because it reveals the church in action.

Spearhead is the product of cooperative effort; from contributors, editor, distributors and readers. Technically it owes a lot to the skill and efficiency of our printers, G.T. Print. They always do an excellent job with our sometimes amateur efforts, and they are to be congratulated and thanked.

My specific association with Spearhead is over, but I will continue to help in a minor way. Please keep the material rolling in to Sue Ward, the new editor. She will welcome help, and is ready to hear from you out there. You are out there, aren't you?

Doug Inger

Spearhead - a winner!

Spearhead has won a competition for the best Church magazine in the Diocese of Derby. At Diocesan Synod in November, in the Council Chamber at Matlock, Doug Inger editor for 15 years, was presented with the award by the Bishop of Derby.

Our new Editor is Sue Ward. Like Doug, she is a librarian, like Doug she deserves our support and our prayers.

Christopher Frith

About Ploughshare
Ploughshare Cover
Background to Ploughshare

The first edition of Ploughshare was December 1992/January 1993.

It is published 6 times a year.

Below are articles taken from Ploughshare explaining the thinking behind the name change and explainging the logo on the front cover

(We also publish 'Spotlight' which is distributed free throughout the parish.)
Ploughshare Cover

Introducing "Ploughshare"
What? "Ploughshare"?
What's in a Name?
The Missile that became a Church
Ploughshre Wins Radio Sheffield Award in 1994

Back to the Main Magazine Page

Introducing "Ploughshare" -The Rector's Letter in the first edition of Ploughshare (December 1992 edition of the magazine)

'Spearhead' our old magazine has been retired, after a varied, effective, award winning career.

The search has been on for a successor with a less aggressive and, possibly, racist image. A review group considered 28 different titles, suggested by members of the Church family, before settling on 'Ploughshare' which came into contention by courtesy of the Editor's sister.

So we have a new identity. During 1993, we aim to produce an improved - even better! -magazine to go with the new title. Changes will come gradually, but we hope for better presentation, greater variety, more effective communication. It can be a vital tool in furthering God's work in our parish and beyond.

Ploughshares are mentioned in the Bible when the prophet Isaiah foretells the "last days" to be brought into being by the Prince of Peace:

"They will beat their swords into ploughshares and their spears into pruning hooks". (Isaiah 2:4).

It's a beautiful picture. Weapons of violence become instruments of usefulness, as war gives way to peace.

It would be good if our magazine could be a ploughshare in our Lord's farming equipment, preparing the ground (by getting us thinking, anticipating, praying....) for the seed to be planted (God's Word in our minds and hearts).

Christopher Frith

What? "Ploughshare"? - -Karen Herrick writes about the new name of the magazine (December 1992 edition of the magazine)

My reaction was that of disbelief - and when I was asked, along with several others, to put together some ideas for the graphics of the new cover, I kept putting off the time to put pencil to paper.

When I could no longer delay the moment I sat with a blank sheet of paper before me and pencil in my hand telling God that I couldn't do this. I disliked the starkness of an image of cold steel to draw. Yet as I wrestled with not wanting to design the cover and disliking the name, God began to speak to me.

God reminded me that His word is "sharper than any double edged sword"; it penetrates even to dividing soul and spirit; joints and marrow. It judges the thoughts and attitudes of the heart. Nothing in all creation is hidden from God's sight. Everything is uncovered and laid bare before the eyes of Him to whom we must give account.

Suddenly, the appropriateness of the name seemed to fit together and with other people's ideas in my head, the cover this month was the result of God's leading!

God's word isn't a soft option but hard and cutting to our very souls.

What? "Ploughshare"?

Lord, "no one who puts his hand to the plough and looks back is fit for service in the Kingdom of God." [Luke 9 v 62.]

Give me strength to be your ploughman.

Karen Herrick

What's in a Name? - Comment on the new name ‘Ploughshare’ and front cover of the magazine (April 1993 edition of the magazine)

You know the feeling when you're choosing the name for a chiId, that feeling that you've got to get it right, that feeling that the name must be meaningful, representative; that feeling that the name you choose is going to be around for a long time. Well I got that feeling when we hit upon the name "Ploughshare" for the church magazine. Would others like it? Was it meaningful in the way we wanted it to be? Did it communicate?

I've lived with the name for four months now and the more I look at Karen's design, the more appropriate it seems to be.

Probably, the first image that you notice is the whole image of harvest which is suggested by the name and the picture: we are all 'wheat and tares together sown', and, according to the seeds of life that we sow, so shall we reap, eventually being harvested ourselves in to God's kingdom.

The parish boundary is a good idea, isn't it? Our parish is actually being ploughed through by the ploughshare of God. Did you know that St. Thomas' parish is really that big?

What about the counter pointing of the parish and all its complex internal institutions, set against the simplicity of the Cross. Life is so complex, difficult and involved, yet looking over all this is the simplicity of the Cross and everything related to it. Christ died to save us….not complicated is it? Awesome may be but not complicated. Remember, Jesus Christ risen from the dead.

If you look closely at the plough, you will find that the tractor, the source of power has been replaced by the Cross and meets it at the link, the steering mechanism where St. Thomas' is outlined. The coulter is the blade that cuts the furrow preparing new ground (St. John's), and the share, which does the heavy work of lifting the turf is, appropriately, St. Peter's! How appropriate that three strong churches should be represented by the three important parts of the most important farming implement in preparation and harvest of a crop.

Note to the overall design, the combination of the man-made item, the ploughshare, and the earth produced item, the corn; both God-given to supply our needs.

A name really is so important, it should always represent that thing to which it is applied. I think "Ploughshare" is most appropriate for what we are trying to do with our magazine-to break new ground, sow new seeds and harvest new crops. It is a trademark, a symbol and like ICTHUS, it conveys an important message.

Keith Morgan

The Missile that became a Church (April 1993 edition of the magazine)

The Baptists in Kobryn desperately needed construction materials to build a church. So late last year the former Soviet Republic of Byelorussia granted them permission to demolish a nearby Soviet Army barrack and missile silo. The salvaged bricks, cement blocks and structural steel could be used in construction of the congregation's first permanent building since it was formed in 1925.

That's when the story took a strange twist. While breaking down the site, volunteer church construction workers discovered an empty World War II artillery shell sealed within a brick wall. Rolled up inside the shell was a 42 year old letter, written in Russian.

"These bricks came from Polish Orthodox and Russian Orthodox churches," the letter explained. "If the missile complex is ever torn down, we ask that the bricks be used to build churches." It was signed by several construction workers, apparently Christians.

The churches had been destroyed on the orders of Soviet dictator Joseph Stalin after he seized nearly 200 miles of Poland during World War II.

Today, once again, the scarcity of materials has caused people to look for existing buildings that can be pulled apart. Now, however, it is the Christians who are taking bricks from the fallen dictatorship.

Polish Canadian missionary, George Bajenski, who returned to North America with the story said, "It's beating swords into ploughshares, except in this case, the ploughshare was first beaten into a sword, then back to a ploughshare."

"….and they shall beat their swords into ploughshares, and their spears into pruning hooks: nation shall not lift up sword against nation, neither shall they learn war any more." Isaiah 2:4

Ploughshare Wins Radio Sheffield Church Magazine of the Year Award (June 1994 edition of the magazine)

Ploughshare has been presented with the above award for 1994. Thanks to all our contributors for helping us achieve this success.