It is with huge regret that the Management Team at the Loddon Reach Magazine must announce the immediate closure of the Magazine. This has been agreed by the Loddon Reach Team Council and the four church PCC’s. There will be no further hard-copy or digital magazines produced as the finances make it unviable for the foreseeable future. This has been an extremely hard decision to make as the Magazine has been a success, providing a public voice to local community groups and winning numerous awards. We have made every effort to find ways to keep going by introducing a digital version, and thereby reducing our costs, but our income has continued to decrease as a result of our advertisers facing a difficult time due to Covid19 and many have not renewed. We have included members of the community in our discussions about advertising and helping to recruit new advertisers for the future, but this has been unsuccessful due to the difficult business climate. Our deliverers also face challenges delivering the magazine, but we would have found a way forward if this had been the only problem. Over the last year, we have sought and received grants/sponsorship from the Oxford Diocese, the Shinfield Parish Council, and others. Also, all four churches in the Benefice have contributed finance directly to the magazine, as printing costs escalated due to the influx of new houses. Sadly, due to the massively reduced income at our churches, with no fund-raising events and no services, they are unable to repeat this. The Team have met via zoom nearly every week since the beginning of March to explore all avenues, but sadly we have not found solutions to increasing income, this has left us with no choice but to close.

It has been a mammoth task, although a well-oiled machine, to produce, manage and deliver the free magazine to over 6,000 houses. The Magazine has been running for twelve years and we would like to extend our huge thanks to many people, past and current, for managing the magazine production; from our current Editor, Amanda Tripp, to our original Editor Gillian Steedman and Joan Woodroffe our Guest Editor, Louise Ogden our Advertising Manager, plus many volunteers who have contributed huge amounts of time: the Editorial Team: Amanda Tripp, Rev. Paul Willis, Rev. David Little, Jane Watkins, Barbara Stanley, Mary Sangster, Hayley Sheridan, Andrew Oughton and also the volunteer Management Team: Jess Dye (Current Team Leader), Kim Slater, Andrew and Trudi Oughton (Past and Current Treasurers), Karen Eaves, Tarnya Lansley and Jane Watkins, who has organised the many distributors, as well as all the distributors and the volunteers who deliver the Magazine. We would also like to thank all the contributors from the churches and community, because without them, there would have been no magazine and finally our community for reading it. Finally, we would like to particularly thank Rev. Paul Willis for his unfailing enthusiasm and support to ensure the team have tried every avenue before making such a difficult decision to close.

We are hoping that at some point in the future, when the pandemic is behind us and life returns to normal, that the Magazine will ‘rise again’ in some form, and we can again provide a platform for our community to advertise services and businesses and provide an opportunity for all those groups in our community and churches to tell their stories.

Finally, stay safe and well everyone,

Loddon Reach Magazine – Management Team – 27/07/2020