One hundred and fifty years comes once in a life-time and it is an occasion to celebrate. July this year (2017), and more precisely the 10th, based on an entry in Bishop Claughton’s diary, marks the 150th anniversary of the very first number of The Ceylon Churchman which came out that particular evening. Thanks to Mr. Israel Paulraj a former Editor and Manager of the quarterly newspaper who shared this information with me, we have a detailed account of its history.
Old covers of The Ceylon Churchman.
During these years, The Ceylon Churchman has gone through a lot of ups and downs. Some of them revolved round getting a suitable editor to gather news, write the stories that we would all like to read and get them published. It is a very difficult task, but thanks to Rev. Lakshman Daniel and presently Rev. Maxwell Doss who of late have done a great job in ‘feeding’ the flock’.
The Ceylon Churchman during the 150-years, has changed its name twice. From its inception in 1867 and until 1876, it was known as The Ceylon Churchman. In 1876 it changed its name to Ceylon Diocese Gazette and was known by that name until 1893. In 1894, the newspaper reverted to its original name – The Ceylon Churchman. In its very early days the newspaper was a magazine published weekly. It then became a monthly publication while presently it is published quarterly.
In 1940, a Board of Management (BoM) of the Churchman was established thereby formalizing the work of the newspaper. The current Chairman of the BoM is the Archdeacon of Colombo, Ven. Perry Brohier, and the Board consists of a Manager, an Editor and a Committee of seven. They meet every quarter and plan each quarterly issue.
The newspaper has seen around 24 editors and an equal number of managers who untiringly oversaw the work of the secretary - keeping minutes and calling for meetings, while in touch with the Diocese of Colombo that maintains the subscription-base. Layout and printing has been done by many and they continue to be patient and carry out the work.
Look out for the special issue
We inform our valued readers that The Ceylon Churchman will come out with a memorable issue, later this year, as a fitting tribute to those, editors, writers, managers, printers, subscribers and readers who down the ages have contributed in so many different ways, to keep the flame of the Churchman burning brightly
Article :Sukumar Rockwood