Parish magazines are a source for a wide variety of local colour, including the times of events at church, the date of the horticultural show, the times of the buses into town, the opening hours of the village shop, and local advertisements. Some included information from the Diocese. They were received and read in a very high proportion of households in a community.
The magazines include detailed descriptions of the progress of the construction or restoration of a church, and details of services and welfare work. They also cover the activities of local societies, both those which started as church organisations and others within the community, such as sports, village libraries and other means of self-improvement. Sometimes local seasonal customs are mentioned, and local responses to national events.
The lists of recent baptisms, marriages and burials contained in each month’s issue might include those which involved parishioners but took place elsewhere. The magazine might also mention church workers, such as members of the choir, and teachers in the Sunday Schools and evening classes.
More recently, parish magazines have been produced by civil Parish Councils or independent committees rather than churches. Like conventional parish magazines, they reflect a wide range of local activities.