Third Way (magazine)

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Third Way
Third Way Magazine.jpg
Cover of October 2010 issue
Type Monthly magazine
Format A4, full-colour
Publisher Hymns Ancient & Modern Ltd
Editor Simon Jones
Staff writers Sue Webber, Huw Spanner, Nick Thorpe, Steve Tomkins, Hannah Kowszun
Founded 1977
Language English
Headquarters London

Third Way is a British current affairs magazine written from a Christian perspective. It can call on well-known Christian thinkers and writers (its columnists include high-profile journalists, clergy and BBC comedy writers) to comment on news issues, much as the New Statesman or Spectator calls on those from left or right. Third Way magazine is not affiliated with either the minor British political party Third Way, or with the centrist "Third Way" policies of Tony Blair and Bill Clinton.

In 1974, thousands of Christians meeting at the First International Congress on World Evangelization held in Lausanne, Switzerland signed a covenant pledging to commit themselves to bringing the Christian gospel to bear on social issues.[1] This sparked a lively debate in the Christian monthly magazine Crusade between the Rt Rev David Sheppard, later Bishop of Liverpool, and the Rev John Pridmore.[1] The debate inspired the editor of Crusade, John Capon, to launch Third Way as a fortnightly magazine in January 1977, putting a Christian perspective on current affairs and the arts.[1] Its title referred to a comment by the theologian Os Guinness in a book entitled The Dust of Death: "How often in the contemporary discussion a sensitive modern man knows that he cannot accept either of the polarised alternatives offered to him. In Christianity, however, there can be a Third Way, a true middle ground which has a basis, is never compromise and is far from silent." Third Way's first editor was Derek Williams and in 1978 he was succeeded by Alex Beale, later Alex Mitchell,[2] and she moved the magazine to its current monthly publication schedule.[3]

Third Way reviews films, music, books and television. It also carries features on social or cultural issues (such as the environment, sexual identity or economics) and interviews high-profile people from those fields. In recent years, for example, it has talked to Tony Blair, Thom Yorke, Rowan Williams, Gerry Adams, Max Clifford, Ian Hislop, John Peel, Maya Angelou, Mark Thompson, Anita Roddick, Jonathon Porritt, Richard Dawkins and many more. Interviews are published Q&A with no editorialising. The Guardian has said that 'The magazine has ... mastered the art of interviewing celebs who have been stitched up once too often by the red-tops'.[4] The Times says it is 'noted for giving a serious Christian perspective on topics ranging from the Bible to politics, environment to the arts'.[1]

Other sections include an "Icon of the month" (deconstructing items from The Holocaust to McDonald's to Bob Dylan to the World Cup), a regular two-way Bible commentary/debate and an events page.

The magazine has 10,000 readers worldwide. Its current editor is Simon Jones and other staff include Steve Tomkins, Nick Thorpe and Huw Spanner. In terms of Christian alignment it sits comfortably alongside the Greenbelt festival or the Ship of Fools website.

In July 2007 Third Way was bought by Hymns Ancient & Modern Ltd, which also owns the Church Times.


  1. ^ a b c d "Alex Mitchell". The Times (London). 10 January 2011. p. 48. (subscription required (help)). 
  2. ^ "Third Way imprint". Third Way 2 (9): 2. 1978. Retrieved 8 February 2014. 
  3. ^ John Capon (18 February 2011). "Alex Mitchell – Obituary". The Guardian (London). p. 39. 
  4. ^ "Media Diary". The Guardian (London). 21 November 2004. 

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