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Hallo again to all.

The gaiter is full! (An image of a bishop's gaiter filled to the $5000 mark)During the last two weeks we have opened our gaiter and asked for your support in the way of PayPal donations. The gaiter is now full — but like every gaiter we've ever known, it always has room for more. So we write this week in thanks for your generosity. Your concrete assistance of our work in this way means all the more in view of what we know are times of straitness for many of us. It is wonderful to be able to say the General Thanksgiving this evening with your particular gentle goodness in mind.

We have spent enough time in the dustiest sections of theological libraries to have made lasting friendships with some of the many church periodicals that have not survived with staff and mission intact to the present.

The Episcopal Watchman (1827-1828), The Banner of the Church (1831-1832), and The Missionary (1834-1837, 1847-1851) all spread the good news in the delicious flavour of George Washington Doane for their brief lifespans. The Catholic Champion sent forth its Anglo-Catholic thunderbolts from New York City until it was sapped of strength by its own extremes in 1901. (Yet we do want on record that we miss the existence of any periodical that could be known as The Catholic Scorpion by those who loved to hate it.) If you have a long wait at an airport and a large carry-on bag, you can peruse every issue of William Augustus Muhlenberg's Evangelical Catholic and still board on time; its good voice was in print for just 1851 and 1852. The Banner of the Cross, The Spirit of Missions, The Churchman, The Episcopal Recorder, The Church Eclectic, The Churchman's Magazine, The Nashotah Scholiast and so many of their ilk are now only memories and library entries. They capture the spirit of a theological or social moment in some of its fascinating detail, and we are happy to honour their work. But their readership did not support them in the long term, and so they closed up shop.

Amongst the scattered leaves of these defunct journals, magazines, broadsheets, newspapers, or tabloids — call them what you will — we have often had occasion to ask a natural question. Church newspapers no longer publishedWhy have the distinct, focused voices of some church organs gone silent, while others like The Church Times (London, since 1863) and The Living Church (Milwaukee, since 1878) continue to soldier on as printed weeklies in changing times?* Closer to home, and shifting the discussion from print media to electronic media, what will keep AO in the latter category rather than the former?

We learnt again this week the answer to this question. You will keep AO going for as long as it serves a purpose. And we will, too, with your help. (We already knew these answers before the questions formed themselves in our mind, but it always helps to hear them again when faithless fears and fussiness poke at our confidence.)

Because of you, AO can continue to be the most comprehensive, most long-standing corner of the online Anglican world. No doubt we shall open the gaiter again from time to time and ask for your help once more on some future day. But in the interim, you can contribute to our work by submitting a link addition or correction. You can add a link to AO from a website you maintain. You can write a letter to the editor or submit a vacancy listing. AO is now, much as always, a collaborative effort, and your co-labour is every bit as welcome as your generous funding.

Once again, thank you for making it possible for Anglicans Online to continue as the coolest, most via media, most Cranmerian, most grammatical, most rubrically compliant and most genial place to spend a Sunday night or Monday morning. You'll always have a warm welcome, and we shall always hope you find what you come looking for.

See you next week.

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Last updated: 11 October 2009

* Could it be in part that both have readers who love to love them, as well as readers who love to hate them? It may be no mistake that both have had the whispered nickname Jezebel's Trumpet attached to them over the years. We wish we were nifty enough to be known as anyone's trumpet.

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