Place to Begin
Hallo again to all.
Anglican-related stories and events don't often make the front pages of the world's newspapers or the telly news programmes, but recently a royal wedding in England did. As a result, you won't find mention of the nuptials of HRH Prince Edward in our News Centre. But if you are interested, see the BBC website for all the news you could possibly want about the ceremony in St George's Chapel, a royal peculiar (yet to have a web site of its own, we note).
The Anglican Media Sydney web site continues to impress, with its variety of features and coverage. You might enjoy having a look at culture@home, a link-rich section with review of books, movies, and current goings on, all with an Anglican slant. And, of course, an Australian point of view, which we find delightful.
From the Antipodes to Iona: We welcome the appearance of the official Scottish Episcopal Church web site and are glad to greet as well the Diocese of Chelmsford in the UK and the Diocese of Wyoming in the States. Chelmsford has the most unusual splash page of any diocesan site we've seen.
And one of the more unusual web sites related to religion in general and American religion in particular is the Material History of Religion. It's rather hard to summarise -- although we try on our New This Week page -- so you might just have a visit yourself. I was amused by the 1950s advert of a family whose Sunday morning tiff was 'saved by the bells'.
Brian knows that nobody's Sunday morning jpeg was ever saved by the bells (Brian on his soapbox here). One of the defining properties of the Anglican church is that there is no one in charge. We don't have a Pope; our Archbishop of Canterbury has some authority over some parts of the church, but the church in Australia or Nigeria or Hong Kong can choose to go however its canons and governance permit. The Lambeth Conference serves every 10 years to remind us that there are benefits to unity, even when there might not be benefits to enforced unity. There is a huge battle going on at the core of the Internet right now, over who has the right to choose the people who have authority over top-level domains. A top-level domain is something like ".uk" or ".com" or ".org", and the collection of them hasn't expanded in a decade. We just got a new domain name "anglicansonline.org;" think about how the people who licensed us that name got the authority to do so.
Your editors, both Anglicans who have read history and who understand the Internet, think that the domain name people would do well to study the structure of the Anglican church as a way of structuring something that can survive many centuries without central control. The issue is complex, and has not shown up much in the public media yet, but over the next few months you should not be surprised to read news stories about conflicts over succession of authority in internet name governance. Pray for them. The cyberspace world in which Anglicans Online can reach you instantly all over the world (especially with its shiny new domain name) depends on everyone agreeing on what the names mean.
See you next week.
updated: 20 June 1999