Since April 2000, Valerie Offord has edited no less than nineteen editions of this Journal with professionalism, sound judgement and enormous patience. She has had to cope with thousands of emails, faxes and telephone calls: moreover, with her internet skills and the endurance to sit in front of a computer screen for hours on end, her work was not carried out in Oxford or London, but in Geneva. Tyndale could never have imagined how one day Tyndalians all over the world could transmit scholarship and opinions (largely concerning his life) in fractions of a second with not a bale of wool in sight and without a moment’s fear of having their words blocked or deleted by agents with malicious intent.
Valerie travelled widely and reported on many conferences and events, from San Diego in California, to Lichfield in Staffordshire. As a fire alarm rang she once had to flee from a hotel room clutching data and manuscripts for a forthcoming edition. She explained: ‘Proof reading is very time consuming even though it can be done in unlikely places such as trains, tennis clubs, mountain chalets and airports.’ She had faithful contributors, and then promises from so many others. Often she would be told that the article would be emailed tomorrow… or perhaps the next day… or week… or month! Who would be an Editor!
When controversial articles were sent to her, Valerie would print them and invite members to respond. They soon did, and their replies were published as well. She was always open with contributors and would forward comments and criticisms to authors of the original pieces for frank debate. She completely understood how the Journal exists not only to report on events and new academic research, but just as importantly to keep members in touch.
As Bill Cooper remarked on receiving TSJ No. 19 in the post: ‘It is always a thumping good read.’ Wherever there are members or interest in Tyndale the Journal aims to keep the entrie Society up to date with what is going on worldwide.
Valerie was overjoyed with the response of those who attended the two very successful Tyndale conferences she arranged in Geneva. On both occasions participants flew in from around the world to listen or speak, the arrangements were meticulous and the experience exceptional.
It goes without saying that Valerie is an historian and scholar in her own right. Nothing could be included in the Journal which was not referenced and checked and footnotes laboriously typed out. Her time has been taken up with reading the work of others. Clearly she could publish a definitive book on, say, the Geneva Bible or the Reformation in Switzerland. On the other hand she may have had enough of the glare of the computer screen and will rejoice to take up a fine ink pen and writing paper.
Those who follow Valerie would do well to heed the words of Ronald Mansbridge in TSJ No.27 who complimented her ‘on keeping things lively when they might in other hands be dull.’
May those who follow her aspire to the very high standard she has set, and then have the enthusiasm and knowledge to ensure the Journal continues to be so enjoyably readable and informative for members wherever they may be found.
Nothing beautiful ever came out of a Committee — except the King James Bible goes the old chestnut. Well, we Tyndalians know better the origins of that work…
However, this is the first edition of the new- look Journal which will be produced ‘in house’ by a committee. These Managing Editors will prepare the text and oversee production. In addition, for each issue, Guest Editors will invite, commission and select contributions. Our regular features will continue exactly as always and we welcome material from our many faithful correspondents, so please keep writing in (details below and on p.4).
Any comments about the new look will be gratefully received but be kind if you do not find TSJ No.33 meets our high standards of the past: we will get there. Valerie Offord, our irreplaceable editor for the past 7 years, is standing down. A full detailing of our thanks to her would completely fill these pages, but I just want to repeat our gratitude for the generosity of Valerie and Robin Offord in their financial donation to the Society (as outlined in the last edition of the Tyndale Society Journal, p.4).
Valerie leaves us with a Journal to be proud of for its liveliness, depth and variety. There is nothing we want to change and we hope to continue at the level of excellence she has achieved.Mary Clow, Chairman
Guest Editors for Tyndale Society
Eunice Burton & Brian Buxton Contact email for Eunice and Brian: email@example.com
Please send all final electronic article submissions (see guidelines on p. 4) to: firstname.lastname@example.org
and any hard copy submissions to: Karen Wortley, The Tyndale Society, Barnyard, Purdy Street, Salthouse, NR25 7XA.
The deadline for submission of articles to the next issue is 15th July 2008.