2,500 copies are printed and distributed to homes and businesses in the area. Local people contribute articles and comment, letters and news, information and discussion about community issues. There are photographs, diary dates, stories, letters, reviews and reports of arts events, leisure and sports activities and occasionally competitions.
From Day One: The paper was started with a first edition in October/November 1997.It is published every two months and has been extremely well received throughout the community. Wiveliscombe is a small town with a population of 2,500, a rural centre for the many settlements and villages around us.
The Messenger goes to all these people in a variety of ways: about half the issue of 2,500 copies is delivered throughout the town by our Scouts, some papers are left at strategic places like the Library and the Post Office and the rest are delivered by a core group of dedicated supporters.
Originally the paper was set up as a partnership between Kingsmead Community Education, Wiveliscombe Civic Society and the West Somerset Free Press, part of the Tindle Group. It was decided that the paper should be run by an editorial group of volunteers who would gather articles and local news from the community at large.
Initial funding came from a grant from a CFIRS (Communities First in Rural Somerset) initiative. The West Somerset Free Press agreed to print the paper free in exchange for the advertising revenue. They use their staff to sell the advertising. There is no interference in the editorial policy on the part of the Free Press.
The CFIRS funding kept us going for two years but as it was intended as a start-up grant it obviously couldn't continue indefinitely: The West Somerset Free Press acquired the title in September 2000 and our arrangement remains the same, except that they now pay all the adminstrative costs.
The West Somerset Free Press have generously sponsored the 2005 redevelopment of this site.
Contributions are always welcome! Contact a member of the Editorial Team, email The Messenger or leave your article at Wiveliscombe Community Office.
To advertise in The Messenger contact John Lockyer at The West Somerset Free Press.