'Gazette' editor retires
Canon Cecil Cooper retires as editor of the Church of Ireland Gazette this week after 35 years with the weekly, writes Patsy McGarry. Canon Cooper began writing for the publication in 1966 and became editor in 1982. He retired as rector at Drumbeg, Co Down, last year.
He said editing the Gazette was "a perpetual tightrope walk" in a church which has members in both jurisdictions on the island and accommodates both unionists and nationalists.
With that in mind he ensured leader writers and columnists came from both parts of the island. Despite this he has run into controversy.
He believes the fabric of society continues to deteriorate, as have core values of morality, decency and respect. The "more structured society of the past created a happier way of life. There wasn't the same amount of discontent. The simple pleasures don't exist today," he said.
The gazette has a circulation of 5,000 and a readership of 20,000. Its new editor is Canon Ian Ellis, rector of Newcastle, Co Down.