An editor’s life can be many things but it is never dull. Most of us could write a best seller on the varied reasons proffered for the lateness, the unfinished state and the non-appearance of copy. A recent message saying that it had been impossible to communicate with me lately as the potential contributor’s computer motherboard had been struck by lightning was a little out of the ordinary. My gut reaction was to inquire his postal address to be sure that I did not inadvertently go to live in the same area the better to protect my trusty lap-top from a like fate. Anyway it was an excuse that will remain forever etched in my memory.

Jeremy Vine of BBC Newsnight posed a similar question in his masterful lecture Out of Africa when he opened it with ‘Has anyone ever said anything to you of such force that the instant you heard it you knew you would remember it forever?’ An edited and abridged version of his Instead of Lambeth talk delivered in February is printed in this issue of the Journal including his poignant poem The Professional.

The mediaeval equivalent of the motherboard excuse is surely ‘I regret that I am unable to send you an English Bible as the Bishop has just burnt the latest print run’. The dramatic title of the Tyndale Geneva Conference in October 2001 on Vernacular Bibles Books for Burning has certainly incited a great deal of interest and the team of excellent speakers should ensure its success. The following email message from England appeared on my screen ‘We sat next to someone on a bus in Geneva recently who was reading the brochure about the Tyndale Conference. It looks fascinating but we regret that we shall be unable to attend’. In case the Treasurer reads this the cost to the Society of the bus fares for our agent sitting on public transport waving conference brochures is negligible!

Talking of conferences many members had a most enjoyable and friendly time at the Wells Conference in May ably organized by David Ireson and Derek Portman. I should like to thank all those who have taken time and trouble to contribute detailed reports on the talks and activities for this Journal. Incidentally, the lead article in this edition, The Tyndale Window by Margaret Osborn, was triumphantly presented to me at Wells from the inner recesses of the author’s handbag. Moral: attending conferences is good for obtaining copy.

There are many events planned for this autumn which are summarized under Dates for Your Diary. For those who like to plan well ahead the Leuven Conference in 2002 promises to be a very significant one. Events taking place in America are under still under-represented and it would nice to include them in the list. Unfortunately, mere ESP is not sufficient so please report in.

This issue has been interesting, and far from difficult, to compile. However, I am always pleased to be sent original articles for consideration. I owe a debt of gratitude to what I now realize is my editorial committee - Neil Inglis, Joan Wilson and Charlotte Dewhurst. They have never been given official recognition but without them the Journal would be a sorry shadow of what you read and they are a real team in every sense. They come to my rescue with copy, typing and editing whenever asked for. There are also many stalwart characters who spontaneously send articles and letters to whom I am really grateful. I even find it reassuring to receive the occasional critical communication - it means the Journal is being read, albeit before being burnt, and that is important.

May your motherboards survive the rages of the elements and your Bibles the curses of the ecclesiastical authorities.

Valerie Offord, 15 August 2001

Valid XHTML 1.0!