It's a delight to see increasing numbers of Anglican-related sites with solid content, 'content' being the common term for the words and images that are the soul of a URL.There are wonderful examples in this week's new listings. We'll start with a new diocesan site, Tasmania, in Australia. Tasmania is actually the oldest extant diocese in Australia. With everything from an authentically warm welcome from its bishop to complete contact lists for people and parishes, that's just the beginning. There is news, prayer requests, events, and more, all in quick, accessible, well-designed HTML pages, with no music or applets and Flash to slow or crash your browser. After a few minutes browsing round this site one has a good feel for the diocese and, dare we say, a good feel about it. (Have a look at this page for one brilliant example of good web writing.)
The Diocese of Sodor and Man has just put its newspaper, Church Leader, online. It's another example of a substantive site, with articles, up-to-date news and listings, fast-loading photos and images, and even a talk-back web forum board. Alas, many online diocesan newspapers on the web seem listless, as if someone arbitrarily took three lead articles from the paper edition and uploaded them as is; often there are no graphics or photos or hyperlinks, and it's hard to imagine anyone looking forward to reading these bare-bones sites. But Sodor and Man's Church Leader, if a little cumbersome in its frame structure, might be just the thing to read with a cup of tea. Just don't spill the tea on your keyboard.
This week we bring you a new essay from our own columnist Pierre Whalon, who takes a hard look at the question of koinonia in 'Nothing in Common?'. Although we can't claim Canadian writer Molly Wolf as an Anglicans Online columnist, we're delighted that her weekly essays, called Sabbath Blessings, are hosted on the same server as Anglicans Online. A second series of those essays, A Place Like Any Other, has just been published in hardback. Another Wolf, in this case Alan Wolfe, at Boston College (Massachusetts, USA), has written an in-depth article on the life and history of American evangelicalism in October's Atlantic Monthly: 'The Opening of the Evangelical Mind.'
We have managed to keep copies of almost all of the past issues of Anglicans Online that we have edited, with the hope someday of organising them into an archive so that you can find past issues if you want them. In the newspaper business such a collection is called a 'morgue'. We are pleased to make our Anglicans Online archives available now at http://morgue.anglicansonline.org/. In coming weeks we'll enable our search engine to search those archives (it doesn't know about them yet). As you can see, we weren't quite as careful to keep copies of each week's issue in the early days, and we especially fell down on the job after covering Lambeth 98. But the keeping of archives is all automatic now, so we don't have to remember.
The Reverend R S Thomas, poet, died 25 September 2000, aged 87. You'll find links to tributes and formal obituaries in our News Centre.The combination of cleric and poet is now perhaps rarer than it once was, and the combination of brilliant poet and cleric has always been elusive. As The Guardian notes, his poem 'The Other' is inscribed in St Hywyn, Aberdaron, where he was parish priest for many years:
See you next week.