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EDP's move recognises key role of Christianity

EDPCoverApril08CropAfter decades of publishing a daily Bible text, the Eastern Daily Press newspaper, based in Norwich, has gone one step better and is now also carrying a daily commentary on its website
The country’s biggest morning paper, owned by media group Archant, has also reaffirmed its support for the key role of the Christian faith in today’s society.
EDP editor, Peter Franzen, said: “It has become fashionable to downplay the role of the Christian faith in today's society. But, as a newspaper, we know it remains a living force, finding expression in perhaps a greater variety of forms of worship than ever before. More generally, we mean no disrespect to the fine and humane teachings of other major faiths - and no disrespect to good people of no particular faith at all - if we say that the EDP recognises that Christian values underpin a great deal of our way of life. They are part of our history, and still mould many of our attitudes.
“The EDP owes a great deal of its success to placing itself firmly in the community by supporting local campaigns like that over post office closures, or raising money for local charities like our long-running EDP We Care Appeal. It is as a part of that same commitment that, so far as we can, we support the kind of decent values which are the glue of any society.”
For many decades, the EDP has run a Bible text on its letters pages, as a small space for reflection. Recently, reader Jean Larner, who is a Methodist lay preacher, contacted the paper to suggest that the King James translation they were using at the time might not be the most accessible one, particularly for younger people.
Peter said: “We took her point, and switched to the New English Bible, which had been recommended to us by someone else as a fairly good modern translation.
“Subsequently, Mrs Larner got in touch again to ask if we'd considered adding daily commentaries to draw out the points made in the necessarily very short Bible texts.
“In days gone by, the answer would simply have been that we didn't have the space. But we realised that the growing popularity of our websites gave us a chance to improve the Christian content of the paper by directing people to a series of online commentaries, matching the printed Bible texts. It seemed fitting - symbolically - that we should begin close to Easter, so we began this service on April 1 with a series of commentaries provided by Mrs Larner herself.”
Thanks to the efforts of EDP sub editor Peter Kelley, who has overseen the project, in the coming months, other writers of the EDP's Christian viewpoint column, which appears every Monday, will also be joining her to provide commentaries on a rota basis.
You can read each daily text and its commentary by clicking on the link below, or by using the button on the home page of the Network Norwich website.