Inside MAI Blog: Thoughts on global publishing
Edward England leaves an unfading vision
“Books have influenced my life as enduringly as family, friends, church or environment,” British publisher and author Edward England wrote in An Unfading Vision.
“Is that an exaggeration? I think not. About every ten years my direction has been radically altered by a book. It was Adventure of Living by Paul Tournier that brought me into publishing.”
Just as books are influencers, so was Edward. On May 16 Edward England went to be with the Lord after an extended illness, but his impact will be felt in MAI and international Christian publishing for years to come.
Edward’s talks at LittWorld never failed to inspire, and his book An Unfading Vision continues to refresh and help Christian publishers worldwide find new strength and fresh vision to persevere.
“His book inspired me to stay put in the world of publications,” Sharon Rose Estores of the Philippines wrote after hearing the news of Edward’s passing. “I will never forget him.”
At a crisis point in his young journalism career, editor Babu Verghese of India read An Unfading Vision three times and sensed God’s confirmation that he go into Christian publishing.
“Edward was a wonderful gentleman, an outstanding publisher and editor, and truly an inspiration to all who knew him,” said editor Judith Markham.
He had a disarming humility, and was just as free to share about his publishing mistakes as his successes. (Edward once began a LittWorld talk by telling about the time he at first rejected The Living Bible for publication in the UK, thinking there was no market for it. Edward and Tyndale founder Kenneth Taylor later became close friends.)
Long-time friend and MAI co-founder Bob Reekie recalled, “Edward touched and blessed countless lives not only through his professional publishing work but also because of his deep and committed faith in God. Every time Edward interacted with someone his faith came through.”
Bob added, “Edward was also like a Barnabas because he constantly encouraged and nurtured those in whom he saw potential. He had that remarkable way of discovering that something, that inner gift or talent that he could draw out and bring to life by his winsomeness and persuasiveness.”
When Bob told Edward about the launch of MAI ministry, Edward was thrilled and said, “Bob, the Scripture reminds us on such new ventures with these words of Jesus, 'Seek you first the kingdom of God and all these things shall be added unto you.''' Then he added, "So if MAI gets its priorities right, God will supply the provisions needed for this exciting ministry of training Christian in print media."
“These were truly prophetic words, which MAI saw fulfilled in every way,” Bob said.
Edward was a shrewd businessman who never lost sight of his readers or his reason for going into Christian publishing in the first place.
“Do not let me be a publisher," Edward once prayed, “unless our books have something to say to those who go thirsty to the well for water.”
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