After a life of deadlines how is a retired journalist still making headlines? Here’s how.

When my retirement came – after a lifetime as a journalist working on newspapers, magazines and public relations – it was something of a shock to wake each morning without any pressing deadlines.

Yet now, 14 years after hanging up my green-eyeshade and editorial responsibilities, I seem busier than ever. And, like many retirees I guess, happier for it.

My transition to life in my afterwork world revealed there are some things that just have to be done. For me this included a move to be near a daughter and her family – from Oxfordshire to Lancashire. This also involved changing churches.

But then there are the choices and mine was not to vegetate either in mind or body.

As a result, my writing skills, allied to an interest in photography, led to gaining space in local newspapers to make our new church more visible. On one occasion this led to worldwide publicity for the local Street Pastors.

This came after I wrote an article on an 87-year-old member of our church who was still out on the streets in the early hours of Friday night and Saturday mornings. Her picture graced most national newspapers. And she was later a recipient of the Queen’s Maundy money in nearby Blackburn Cathedral, and appeared on the New Years Honours list.

To extend my social circle I joined a weekly writer’s group meeting in a local pub. One member came when I was invited to speak at a local Baptist Church – and the following week entertained the group with a potted review of the sermon in glowing terms.

I also knew I needed to do something to retain some semblance of fitness. Though our move had taken us to walking country I’m not a keen walker. So I joined the walking football sessions run by Burnley in the Community, the charitable arm of the football club.

It has proved to be great fun – despite most of the guys having lots of football experience and me having little. This being despite covering most of the London Clubs as a journalist for a Sports Agency and getting to know legends like Bobby Moore and Glenn Hoddle.

At 79 I am the second oldest on our team and can still manage one hour sessions on Mondays and Fridays each week.

My eyes have also been open to new opportunities. For example, having enjoyed the full colour magazine – Northern Life – covering life in Yorkshire and Lancashire I now write a couple of features in most editions and do the book reviews.

This is a great way to be involved with local people, including some of whom come to our small church.

More recently I have had the great pleasure of joining forces with a former magazine colleague, Steve Goddard. Steve had been press officer for the Christian Resources Exhibition for many years and when it was about to close he and his wife bought it up.

I was persuaded to become the press officer and it has been great fun – meeting many faces from the Christian past and being able to publicise many Christian organisations doing a valuable work for God.

I can look back at a life that has included shaking hands with a Pope, having an audience with another, spending time with the late Billy Graham, and interviewing many sporting, political and literary personalities. I have even been sworn at by the Duke of Edinburgh

Yet what has been an exciting life has continued in my new phase of active retirement. Each day I wonder what God has in store and there is always something worthwhile.

And to think that I could have settled for just pruning the roses.

Dave Hall

Dave Hall spent his working life as a journalist on local newspapers, Christian magazines, and was the press officer who helped launch the Good News Bible. Married with two adult children – one living in Spain and the other close to his home near Burnley. At his village church Dave preaches and helps at Little Stars, the mums’ and toddlers’ group, and Messy Church.


  1. Good to hear David’s thoughts on retirement. I did a Holiday Bible Club in Swadlingcote many years ago when I worked for London City Mission. Please send my regards.

  2. The subject of deadlines and journalism gets mentioned in this book review part of which is given below plus a link to the review in Prophecy Today and may interest Dave Hall and others.
    Charles Gardner and Maureen Trowbridge review ‘Beyond the Final Curtain: What Happens When We Die’ by Richard Roe (Zaccmedia, 2014).

    As a journalist of more than 40 years, I am well used to deadlines. But I take my hat off to fellow writer Richard Roe for daring to tackle the ultimate deadline. In his excellent book, Beyond the Final Curtain (Zaccmedia), he addresses an issue most of us try all our lives to avoid – what happens when we die.

    It may well be a taboo subject not suited to livening up a party, but it’s not as morbid as it sounds, and the book is both well-written and hugely insightful.

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The word retirement is not even in the Bible. What is taught in scripture is transition. There is nothing that says you work most of your life and then get to be selfish for the next 20 years

Rick Warren, PurposeDrivenLife