Anglicans Online banner More about the gryphon
Independent On the web since 1994 More than 200 000 readers More than 10 000 links Updated every Sunday

New This Week
Everything new is here.

News Centre
News archive
News flash: a summary of the top headlines
Start here
Anglicans believe...
The Prayer Book
The Bible

Read letters to AO
Write to us

Resources A to Z

World Anglicanism
Anglican Communion
In full communion
Not in the Communion

Dioceses and Parishes
New Zealand

Vacancies Centre
List a vacancy
Check openings worldwide

Add a site or link to AO
Add a site to AO
Link to AO

About Anglicans Online
Back issues
Awards and publicity
Beginnings, AO at 5
About our logo

Support AO
Shop for AO goods
Help support us!
Thanks to our friends

Our search engine


Hallo again to all on this day of Pentecost.

A country windmillToday we've been reflecting on how our own lives have changed when we tried to listen to and follow the Holy Spirit. If you've ever read the fine print at the bottom of the page or clicked on the "Sponsors" link towards the bottom, you know that Anglicans Online is sponsored by the Society of Archbishop Justus, a small group that is a registered charity in the USA (though more than half of its members live in the UK). SoAJ, as we call it, was founded a decade ago with the expectation that it would someday expand, with the ultimate goal of outliving its founders. Its creation was entirely the result of a small group of people realizing that the Holy Spirit was leading them in the same direction. It hasn't expanded because, well, everyone in SoAJ has been too busy to tend to such lacunæ as membership requirements and member duties. Surely you've found yourself in a position of being too busy to bring in associates?

What has been keeping us busy? Well, of course, it begins with our 'day jobs': all of us are unpaid volunteers who spend our regular work-week toiling to support ourselves and our families. Our work for SoAJ comes from our time outside our employment. But what is that work? It's hard to explain succinctly.

Some of what SoAJ does is obvious, like Anglicans Online and We also make contributions to Thinking Anglicans and Project Canterbury and Oremus and also various lower-profile websites. We provide web hosting and tech support to Anglican groups all over the world. But most of what we do is more diffuse. On Tuesday last, this email message arrived addressed to SoAJ, and in thinking about it we realized that a wayward email message was a powerful (if obscure) reminder to us of where our efforts are invisibly expended. We took the liberty of redacting the identifying information.

Subject: about the ANGLICAN.ORG web site
Date: Tue, 10 May 2005 16:57:25 EDT

we are trying to contact patricia cxxxxx mxxxxxxx..............we were told that she is the CxO of the protestant episcopal church in america..............we are trying to locate her to notify her that her new rochelle high school 50th reunion is being planned. if she gets this message please have her call nancy kxxxxxx fxxxxxx at 555-555-1338 (in rye brook ny)
thank you for your help

So why, pray tell, was a seemingly sensible person asking the Society of Archbishop Justus for help locating a school chum who is known to be an employee of the US Episcopal Church? After years of these sorts of messages from all over the world, we understand perfectly: many people cannot find what they are looking for in official sources around the Anglican Communion, and, in frustration, some turn to us simply because they can find us. We are careful to advertise that we are in no way official, but that doesn't stop people from sending us messages addressed to Rowan Williams or Frank Griswold or Desmond Tutu, or asking us if they can be married in our church on August 14, or asking what time the main service starts or asking what Anglicans believe.

Tongues of fireThere are some bright spots in the church's online presence (more so in England and Ireland than other places, it seems to us), but in general when people use the internet to try to contact or learn about Anglicans and Anglicanism, they go away frustrated and annoyed. We've tried the direct approach of offering to help, to teach, or to pitch in, but with a few notable exceptions, we've been rebuffed and our motives maligned. There are plenty of people in the church who understand the internet and can use it well, but in general they have no authority and no money. The majority of Anglican church communications, whether online or in traditional media, are inwardly focused almost to the point of narcissism.

Perhaps in another generation or two, everyone who administers churches and dioceses and provinces and deaneries and cathedrals will have learned how to use digital communications media effectively, but don't hold your breath. Until that era, we intend to keep on until we drop, doing what we do, and we hope that before we shuffle off this mortal coil we find the wherewithal to recruit and expand and have our little Society become bigger and more self-sustaining.

In the meantime, maybe you can help sustain it with your money even if we haven't yet figured out how to accept donations of time and effort. Donations to Anglicans Online go directly to the Society of Archbishop Justus general fund, which pays our ISP bills and buys our servers and our software licenses and helps us with our online outreach. We're grateful for those who have supported us in the past and will continue to be grateful for anything you can manage to give. You're not just funding Anglicans Online; you're funding the entire SoAJ effort of Anglican internet outreach around the world.

See you next week. Oh, one more thing: in response to your questions: our church is available on August 14; the main service starts at 10.45am; we believe in the Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit.

Cynthia's signature
Brian's signature
Cynthia McFarland
Brian Reid

Last updated: 15 May 2005

A thin blue line
This web site is independent. It is not official in any way. Our editorial staff is private and unaffiliated. Please contact about information on this page. ©2005 Society of Archbishop Justus