A warm welcome to Jackie Harris, new editor of Day by Day with God
Welcome to Jackie Harris, new editor of Day by Day with God
Jackie Harris is the new editor of Day by Day with God, BRF’s popular Bible reading notes for women who want to root their lives in the Bible. A freelance editor, Jackie is a perfect fit for her new role, having previously edited Woman Alive, the magazine for today’s Christian woman. She is married to Ray and lives in Worthing. In the midst of a flurry of lockdown decorating she found time to answer our questions.
Where you were brought up
I was brought up in Yorkshire, in the West Riding, and still have family there, so we visit frequently. Of course, with Covid, we haven’t been north since Christmas 2019, so I’m desperate to go as soon as we can.
How did you come to faith?
I first went to church aged 13 when my mum was invited to a centenary celebration of a youth group she had been part of as a young girl. She was reunited with some old friends who invited her to go to church and she took my sister and me along. The vicar was new and keen to develop the youth work and welcome new families in, so I soon found myself part of a youth group and helping in the Sunday school. Three years later, we had a week of mission led by the Church Army and that’s when I really came to faith.
I studied English and History at North Staffordshire Polytechnic, where I was secretary of the Christian Union. We had members from most Christian traditions, so I experienced a variety of churches and worship styles – everything from traditional Anglican, to charismatic catholic, and Baptist to Pentecostal. It was a valuable experience in many ways, but I think I have always felt most at home in the Anglican church.
I graduated in the middle of a recession, so it took a while to find that first job. In the meantime, I returned home and was involved in our church’s preparations for Billy Graham’s Mission England Sheffield. I worked alongside our vicar providing some admin support and also got involved in a local Christian bookshop, developed by the local evangelical free church.
And how did your working life evolve?
Through working in the bookshop, I had access to several Christian newspapers and magazines and responded to an ad for an editorial assistant on the Christian Herald, based in Worthing.
I hadn’t really planned on a career in journalism - I actually wanted to be a museum curator, but every door there seemed to close firmly shut and I was offered the job on the Herald.
I remember buying my ‘one-way’ ticket to Worthing which felt very daunting, but once I arrived, I felt God had prepared the way and I soon settled in. It helped that of all the places he could have led me, I had an old school friend who lived in one of the nearby villages, so there was a friendly face I could connect with.
My work on the Herald developed and I became assistant editor and then features editor when the paper was relaunched as the New Christian Herald.
An opportunity to work on Woman Alive, the magazine for Christian women, during an editor’s maternity leave gave me the confidence to apply for the position when it became vacant sometime later. It was one of those times when I knew it was the right step to take.
It was a challenging role, but a very fulfilling one. We had a great team of contributors and the readers were hugely supportive and passionate about their magazine.
Why do we need publications specifically for Christian women?
When it comes to the needs and concerns of women, I think what we found time and time again is the need to find our place, to have confidence in our identity in Christ and in recognising his leading in our lives. Certainly, whenever we asked readers what kind of subjects they wanted us to tackle, guidance came pretty much top of the list. They also appreciated real life stories of how women were living out their faith and responding to challenges.
Day by Day with God
The opportunity to become editor of Day by Day with God came as a huge blessing. I had recently been made redundant when Woman Alive was sold and was wondering what the future might hold. I was at quite a low point and pretty much exhausted as the process had taken many months, but after learning a little more about Day by Day with God and what the role involved, I began to sense God’s yes.
I was then challenged about my own Bible study, which had always been a bit hit and miss, and rediscovered the joy of meeting God in his Word. I have loved researching and thinking through ideas for different topics, and as I began to correspond with Day by Day with God contributors, I realised I was joining a great team of women who are passionate about digging into the Scriptures and helping others to discern God’s voice.
I’m hoping that through Day by Day with God we can draw more women into the Word and build their confidence as they seek to apply it to their lives. Working on the notes has been a blessing to me and I would like to pass on that blessing to others.
View Jackie Harris' first editorial issue of Day by Day with God here.