Broadview (magazine)

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EditorJocelyn Bell
CategoriesChristian denominational
First issue10 June 1925

Broadview, formerly the United Church Observer, is a Canadian denominational magazine, reporting on national and international issues of faith, justice, ethics, daily living and pop culture. Although it was the official publication of The United Church of Canada for 60 years, it is now a financially and editorially independent corporation. It has a paid circulation of 35,000 copies distributed by subscription and newsstand sales. In 2019, the magazine rebranded itself as Broadview.[1]


Broadview, formerly The United Church Observer, is the successor to the weekly Methodist newspaper, The Christian Guardian, founded in 1829 with educator and political activist Egerton Ryerson as the editor.[2] It may therefore be seen as 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: as today, 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]

When the United Church of Canada was formed in 1925, Methodist, Presbyterian and Congregationalist publications, including The Christian Guardian, merged to form The New Outlook.[2]

In 1938, the church's General Council made a decision to amalgamate New Outlook with two other church publications, United Church Record and Missionary Review, to form the United Church Observer.[2]

The magazine has had only five changes in editorial leadership: 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 to reflect its new mandate as a voice for progressive Canadian Christians and those with similar values. [5]

Since 1986, Broadview has been independently incorporated,[6] which sets it apart from other major North American denominational publications. Although the magazine sets its own editorial policies, it maintains a healthy relationship with the United Church of Canada.


For its feature-writing, theological reflections grounded in the challenges of everyday living, biographical profiles and in-depth news reporting, Broadview has won international acclaim for journalistic excellence and garnered more awards than any other denominational publication in Canada, and is one of the most decorated denominational publications in North America. In 2019, this included more than 20 prizes at the Associated Church Press awards. [7]


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  2. ^ a b c "The Christian Guardian". Canadian Methodist Ministers 1800–1925. Canadian Methodist Historical Society. 2005. Retrieved 31 January 2011.
  3. ^ Claude W. Doucet (June 2002). "Egerton Ryerson, 1803–1882". Archives & Special Collections: Ryerson History. Ryerson University. Retrieved 21 September 2014.
  4. ^
  5. ^
  6. ^ Christal Gardiola (Spring 2009). "The Mission". Ryerson Review of Journalism. Archived from the original on 6 July 2011. Retrieved 31 January 2011.
  7. ^

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