For those who haven’t heard, the United Church Observer is undergoing some changes. The following is from the current issue:
“This issue marks a historic moment for the magazine. It is the last one to be published under the name The United Church Observer. Next month, we’re starting an exciting new chapter, relaunching in print and online as Broadview.
The name United Church Observer served this publication well for 80 of its 190 years. But recently, our hunch has been that people beyond the pews who would really enjoy the stories we produce aren’t subscribing. Either the magazine doesn’t reach them or the United Church moniker signals a magazine for “members only.”
Market research supported our hunch. Last spring, we surveyed 1,300 subscribers and 1,000 non-subscribers. Among the non-subscribers, 59 percent had never heard of The United Church Observer, and 25 percent knew the name but had never read it. And these are Canadians who regularly read magazines, share our liberal social values and consider themselves spiritual and/or Christian.
With this new information, The Observer’s Board of Directors decided that — along with the magazine’s 190th anniversary and The United Church of Canada restructuring — 2019 was the time to change. After all, we need new audiences to sustain this publication for years to come…