Broadview (magazine)

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EditorJocelyn Bell
CategoriesChristian denominational
First issue10 June 1925
CompanyObserver Publications Inc.

Broadview is a Canadian magazine focussed on national and international issues of spirituality, social justice, and ethical living, as well as United Church of Canada news and perspectives. Formerly the United Church Observer, the magazine was rebranded as Broadview in April 2019.[1] The publication has a paid circulation of 30,000 copies distributed by subscription and newsstand sales. Broadview and are owned and operated by Observer Publications Inc., a non-profit corporation.


Broadview traces its roots back almost two centuries to The Christian Guardian, founded with Methodist minister Egerton Ryerson as the editor.[1][2] The publication's long history makes it the oldest continuously published magazine in North America and the second oldest in the English-speaking world. The Christian Guardian was regarded as a major voice in the life of a growing country: it commented not only on matters of religion in Canada but education and political affairs. Ryerson went on to serve in government and is credited with founding the public school system in Upper Canada.[3] He also helped develop Canada's Indian residential school system, well-known today to have resulted in devastating outcomes for Indigenous communities.

The United Church of Canada was formed in 1925 through the union of Methodists, Presbyterians and Congregational churches. The publications for each of those denominations, including The Christian Guardian, merged to form The New Outlook.[2]

In 1938, the church's General Council amalgamated The New Outlook with two other church publications, United Church Record and Missionary Review, to form the United Church Observer.[2] In 1986, the publication was independently incorporated. Although the magazine maintains a healthy relationship with The United Church of Canada, it sets its own editorial policies.

The United Church Observer had only five editors in its 80 years: Rev. A.J. Wilson (1939–55); Rev. Al Forrest (1955–79); Hugh McCullum (1980–90); Muriel Duncan (1990–2006); David Wilson (2006-2017) and the current editor, Jocelyn Bell.[4]

In spring 2019, the publication was renamed Broadview with Jocelyn Bell as its editor/publisher.


Observer Publications Inc. is affiliated with The United Church of Canada but was separately incorporated in 1986, and operates independently with its own policies, procedures, and editorial programs.[1][2]

Broadview's ongoing affiliation with The United Church of Canada includes an annual grant that makes up less than seven percent of Broadview's total revenues. The United Church's General Council Executive also elects four directors to the Observer Publications' 11-member Board of Directors. Other details of the two organizations' affiliation are documented in a 2013 legal "Covenant" agreement.

Broadview’s editorial pillars are spirituality, ethical living and social justice issues. The publication’s mission is to produce a magazine and digital platforms that serve progressive Christians, as well as those who share progressive Christianity’s core values. “We understand this means being both introspective and outward-looking,” editor/publisher Jocelyn Bell says. “It requires us to examine our beliefs and values, and to live and act accordingly. It calls us to engage deeply with the justice issues of our day — and to believe that hope lies in caring profoundly for one another and for our planet.”[1]

Approximately a quarter of the magazine is devoted to United Church of Canada news and perspectives.


The magazine’s editorial content has won international acclaim for journalistic excellence.

It has garnered more awards than any other denominational publication in Canada, and is one of the most decorated denominational publications in North America.

In 2019 (for content produced in 2018), this included more than 23 awards from the Associated Church Press awards, 21 awards from the Canadian Church Press (including Best in Class), and a nomination from the National Magazine Awards.[5]


  1. ^ a b c d "Who We Are". Broadview Magazine. Retrieved 2019-12-18.
  2. ^ a b c d Gardiola, Christal (Spring 2009). "The Mission". Ryerson Review of Journalism. Archived from the original on 6 July 2011. Retrieved 31 January 2011.
  3. ^ Claude W. Doucet (June 2002). "Egerton Ryerson, 1803–1882". Archives & Special Collections: Ryerson History. Ryerson University. Archived from the original on 6 November 2014. Retrieved 21 September 2014.
  4. ^
  5. ^ "2018 Associated Church Press" (PDF). The Associated Church Press. April 11, 2019.

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