FIRST PUBLISHED in 1875 as Dominion Churchman and later as Canadian Churchman, Anglican Journal has a long and respected history. All content is published at the sole discretion of the editor as part of the Journal’s mandate of editorial independence.
The newspaper has a circulation of 155,000 and is the largest faith-based publication in North America. It acts as a distribution vehicle for 23 regional or “diocesan” newspapers and is published 10 times a year, with the exception of July and August.
Anglican Journal has been the recipient of hundreds of awards leadership in news reporting as well as editorial, column and feature writing, photography, illustration and graphic design. In May 2012, the Journal received a total of 27 awards, including three awards of excellence and an award of Merit for “Best in Class” from the Associated Church Press and the Canadian Church Press.
Anglican Journal’s website, www.anglicanjournal.com keeps 500 visitors a day informed with daily news of interest to Anglicans across Canada and around the world. The website also hosts guest reflections, special reports and provides a forum www.anglicanjournal.com commentary. The current issue of Anglican Journal is posted to the website each month where it can also be downloaded.
An English bookkeeper, Frank Wootten, buys Church Herald and renames it Dominion Churchman. An annual subscription to the weekly publication costs $2.
The Rev. William Clarke, a professor at Toronto’s Trinity College, becomes editor. The publication is renamed Canadian Churchman. Wootten retains proprietorship.
Wooten dies and in his will, directs that the paper be sold. A group of evangelical Anglican churchmen form a holding company to purchase Canadian Churchman. For the next 10 years, it is associated with Wycliffe College in Toronto.
Clara McIntyre succeeds her late husband, the Rev. E.A. McIntyre, a professor at Wycliffe College, to become the first female editor of Canadian Churchman. She holds the position until 1944, with readers unaware of her gender. The Rev. Walter F. Barfoot, who later becomes primate, is assistant editor.
The Anglican Church of Canada’s now-defunct General Board of Religious Education takes over as publisher. Circulation is about 5,000.
A recommendation is made to the church’s executive to combine all the church’s periodicals into one monthly publication.
The new Canadian Churchman is launched under the editorship of Canon Gordon Baker, a young priest. The January issue is printed with the publications of a half-dozen dioceses. Circulation climbs to 65,000.
A new distribution concept that benefits dioceses and the national church is forged. All identifiable givers to the church receive the newspaper along with their diocesan publication. Circulation skyrockets to more than 200,000.
Hugh McCullum, a well-respected journalist and activist, is the first editor to hire professional reporters rather than clergy to produce stories on poverty, aboriginal land claims, pollution, abortion law reform and apartheid. A fierce advocate of editorial independence, he believes that an open, transparent church is a stronger church.
Duringthe paper’s centennial year, journalist Jerry Hames succeeds McCullum, and continues the award-winning news coverage. Hames later decamps to New York City to take become editor of Episcopal Life, the publication of the U.S. Episcopal Church.
Canadian Churchman’s editorial policy is revised. While Churchman remains the national newspaper of the Anglican Church of Canada, its position as an independent voice rather than the official voice of the church is made clear.
Canadian Churchman changes its name to Anglican Journal/Journal Episcopal to reflect anglophone and francophone membership. A year later, the French reference is dropped and the newspaper becomes Anglican Journal. Journalist Carolyn Purden succeeds Hames as editor and general manager. She increases news coverage and brings in a Reflections page, an Across Canada page, new columnists, and a music reviews page to complement the popular movie reviews page.
With funding from General Synod slashed by 38 per cent, the Journal seeks donations from readers for the first time. Proceeds from the Anglican Journal Appeal are shared 50/50 with the diocesan newspapers.
The newspaper goes online, allowing Anglicans to access news stories, special reports and in-depth features.
A 16-page supplement details the involvement of the Anglican Church of Canada in running some of the residential schools that were part of the federal government program of forced assimilation. “Sins of the Fathers,” written by freelance journalist David Napier and commissioned by Journal editor David Harris, receives numerous awards.
As concern about residential school litigation mounts, Anglican Journal becomes a separately incorporated body to protect it from possible bankruptcy.
Readers mark the 130th anniversary of Anglican Journal by contributing more than $638,000 to the Journal Appeal. This is the single largest amount raised since the appeal was launched in 1994. To celebrate, a number of readers send cheques for $130.
On Dec. 15, the federal government extends a postal subsidy that makes it possible for Anglican Journal and the regional newspapers it carries to be mailed at an average cost of 13 cents per copy. Without the postal subsidy, the cost would rise to at least 52 cents.
A redesign of Anglican Journal, the first in a decade, is launched with the April issue, offering a bold new reader-friendly look.
Anglican Journal launches a new interactive website that provides daily online news and analysis at the “paperless” General Synod 2010 in Halifax.