Looking back at our steps


1985 First issue of Footsteps to Health produced by the Editor, Joy Poppé. 1,000 copies printed and sent to Tearfund partners around the world. A further seven issues edited by Joy before she leaves to work in Nepal.

1986 Reader survey carried out

1989 After a gap in production, a new Editor, Isabel Carter, produces the last issue of Footsteps to Health. Several changes based on the results of the reader survey are made. Health is no longer the only focus, each issue has a theme, Bible studies are introduced and national readers encouraged to contribute ideas and articles.

In December 1989 the first issue of Footsteps is produced. Copies sent to 1,800 readers.

1991 First French and Spanish issues are produced.

1993 Language Editor, Maria Leake appointed. Readership survey carried out. Findings show that 87% of readers find Footsteps helpful in their work, 79% use the information for training others, and copies are shared on average by 30 people.

1994 First Portuguese issue produced. The Christian Medical Association of India begin printing 6,000 copies of Footsteps for distribution within the Indian sub-continent. Distribution reaches 22,000 copies around the world.

1995 Sheila Melot takes over as Language Editor.

1996 Postal survey carried out with 400 Footsteps readers. Findings show that 84% rate Footsteps as very good and appropriate, with 16% finding it helpful. 86% of respondents had used information from Footsteps in their work.

1997 Guide My Steps, a collection of Footsteps Bible studies, is published and made available to readers.

1998 Footsteps moves to a separate office in the West Midlands. (Previously a spare room of the Editor’s home was used.) Judy Mondon takes over from Pam Wood as Editorial Assistant and now maintains the Footsteps mailing list.

1999 As we celebrate our 40th issue, our mailing goes to over 35,000 readers in 165 countries around the world.

35,000 copies mailed - English 69%, French 17%, Spanish 10%, Portuguese 4%.

Future plans…

2000 and on Footsteps will soon be available in Chinese, through the support of the CEDAR Fund. Footsteps back copies will be available on CD ROM and via the Internet for groups wanting to translate the information.

We are exploring ways of supporting other organisations wanting to make Footsteps material available in local languages.

As we celebrate our tenth anniversary, readers may be interested to know more about the history of Footsteps and how it is produced.

Sheila Melot co-ordinates a team of translators living around the world who translate, check and proof-read the issues and all correspondence.

The Editorial Committee meets 4 times a year to discuss the work of Footsteps. Members give their time voluntarily and provide enormous support for the Editor. Content of issues is decided partly on the basis of reader requests and information from reader surveys and partly by the Editorial Committee.

Rod Mill provides the illustrations and Bill Phelps at Wingfinger Graphics handles the design and layout of Footsteps.