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Alex Mitchells (1947-2010)

February 2011 | by Andy Flannagan

Alex Mitchells (1947-2010)

 

Mrs Alex Mitchell, who has died age 63, was a pioneer of Christian journalism. She edited the Christian monthly magazine Third Way for five of its first six years.

     She also made an important contribution, not least as the only woman and only non-ordained member, to the words group that produced Hymns for today’s church – a British inter-denominational hymn book of the last quarter of the 20th century.

     Third Way was launched at the beginning of 1977 as a fortnightly magazine providing a biblical perspective on a wide range of societal issues. It was the brainchild of John Capon, editor of the monthly magazine Crusade, and reflected a growing evangelical interest in societal issues, following the first international congress on world evangelisation in Lausanne, Switzerland (1974).

     After working at Crusade for four years, Alex Beale, as she was then, joined its sister publication Third Way at its launch, where she worked as assistant editor. The next year she become editor. During her editorship, Third Way’s contributors included Tom Wright and former Archbishop George Carey, as well as evangelical leaders John Stott, David Watson and George Hoffman, the founder of Tear Fund.

     She attracted notable political figures to its pages, including former Prime Minister Edward Heath. Mr Stott, the Rector Emeritus at All Souls, Langham Place, commented during her editorship that, ‘Third Way is becoming indispensable reading for those who want to think Christianly about contemporary issues’.

     Mrs Mitchell left Third Way at the end of 1982, but continued in active board membership of the Shaftesbury project and London Institute for Contemporary Christianity. She moved to Washington DC in 1991, when her husband John left his job as director of the World Development Movement to take up a post in international development.

     In Washington DC, Alex worked for more than 10 years as the administrator of Alpha courses, returning to the UK in 2008. She died on 26 November 2010 and is survived by her husband John, sons Peter and Andrew, and daughter-in-law Emily.

Andy Flannagan

 

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