Parish Oak History


PARISH OAK magazine

We always welcome the arrival of the ‘Parish Oak’ realising with shock that another month has quickly vanished into oblivion.


I find it an excellent production filled with much interest and information. As with most things all this does not ‘just happen’ and to achieve and receive our magazine there is a dedicated team behind every issue. Each month for us means much time and prior planning in its compilation before going to print with the deadlines involved.


The next link in the chain is undertaken by Mrs Barbara Jane Pope who receives the finished product and delivers to the area distributors. These stalwarts every month come rain or shine bring each issue to our door, several from inception.


Coupled with this are all those involved throughout the process, be it the contributors of interesting and amusing articles – we enjoy Fred’s stories of past happenings – news, notices, information and updates on activities throughout Smannell and Enham, advertisements which cover the costs and of course the distribution team. All give time, a valuable commodity, for which we are grateful.


As I turned the pages this month, thoughts returned to the initial roots of the Parish News Sheet of Knights Enham and Smannell as it was then titled.


This evolved during the ministry of the Reverend Chavasse in approximately 1960. His proposal for information re church services and associated activities to be made available throughout the parish was adopted by the Parochial Church Council of that time. Being a member I volunteered for the job. Information was submitted to me for typing on wax stencils and duplicated double sided, on foolscap paper – 400 copies monthly. The latter achieved in my lunch hour at work.

Enham’s supply of 250 was delivered to Mr and Mrs Ian Chisholm who covered distribution for the village and Ian is still involved today - 55 years of dedication.


On leaving employment in 1962 the Newsletter began a different journey when the typed stencils travelled with husband Maurice to either Salisbury or Wimborne, his place of work once a week and where the office duplicator rolled into action and the finished product would be ready for his homecoming.


Initially this leaflet was combined with ‘Home Words’ and the ‘Winchester Churchman’, a Diocesan publication, for which a small charge was made. Administration became difficult and the Church Council decided to drop the two brochures and deliver the foolscap sheet giving details of church services and local news to every house free of charge.


This continued for many years until the welcome increase in material contributed made a second foolscap sheet necessary and after some thirty years I handed over to another team who developed and added to its content and interest.


Thus, thanks to nurturing by many people, the humble acorn sown in 1960 has grown and matured into the ‘Parish Oak’ we enjoy reading today.



Nora Bullen