General Synod 2007

GS07 Report 03
Anglican Journal Board

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From St. John's to Ucluelet, from Windsor to Grise Fiord, Anglicans across the country learn what is happening in their church through the Anglican Journal.   The Journal was incorporated in January 2002, at a time when our General Synod was facing an uncertain future. The decision to incorporate guaranteed the survival of the Journal, as well as all diocesan newspapers that rely on us for their distribution.  General Synod is the “founding member” of the corporation, and the Board of Directors is elected by the Council of General Synod every three years (the current Board was formed in 2005).

Circulation & Distribution & Diocesan relationships

The total circulation of the Journal is over 193,000.  In order to qualify for the Heritage Canada Grant, and special postage rates, diocesan newspapers are inserted into the Journal for delivery. In order to continue this arrangement all circulation lists must be kept up to date, with an accuracy rating of over 95%. This is largely accomplished through yearly parish mailings, at which time our subscription list is compared to parish lists.

In 2005 the Journal and the diocesan newspapers accommodated a 16% decrease in funding from the Publications Assistance Program (PAP, a grant for Canadian publications upon which we rely heavily). When paired with a 2.9% increase in postal rates, this resulted in an extra cost of $68,500 to mail the newspapers.  In 2006 Heritage Canada considered a 30% reduction of their funding of PAP. This was a serious threat to our operation, and one which most diocesan newspapers would not have been able to survive. The Primate, Journal Board members, diocesan editors, and members of CIRC all wrote their Members of Parliament asking that parliament direct Canada Post to continue its funding. Thankfully, the funding was maintained at the same level.

Representatives of the Journal also attend the Anglican Editors Association Conference. This annual gathering allows the representatives of our national and diocesan newspapers to share resources and story ideas, as well as build relationships with those in similar ministries around the country.

The Journal Appeal

Individual Anglicans continue to show their support for the Journal through the annual financial appeal. Since its inception in 1994 the Journal Appeal has returned over $1.8 million to the dioceses.  Over the past triennium we have seen the two most successful financial appeals in Journal history. In 2005 our readers marked the 130th anniversary of the Journal by contributing over $638,000. Of this amount, $263,628 was returned to the dioceses. In 2006 this generosity continued, with over $556,000 being given to the Journal Appeal (and $207,000 being returned to dioceses).

Readership Survey

In 2006 we also conducted a readership survey ~ our first in ten years. This gave us a clearer picture of our readers and where their interests lie.  This is particularly useful in attracting advertisers, as well as giving our editorial staff a “starting point” for various feature articles. We have begun to respond to some of the realities this survey uncovered. One such development is an exchange of relevant stories and links with (the national church’s youth website).

Website redesign and user stats

As our world becomes more and more “connected” electronically, the challenge facing us is how this affects a printed newspaper.  While our readership survey does point to a definite non-computer constituency, we also recognize the great potential for reaching those who are connected to the Internet. In 2006 we launched a new Journal website, our first re-design since 1998. This site allows immediate access to our breaking news stories, as well as in-depth coverage of a number of subjects. We have also begun to accept Web advertisements, a small source of revenue.


We are blessed to have an outstanding team of professionals connected with the Journal.
In all areas of our production (editorial, business, circulation and Web), our staff has a tremendous depth of talent, resourcefulness and commitment. Their work continues to be appreciated both by their peers (winning a stellar 22 awards at last year’s Associated Church Press and Canadian Church Press awards), as well as by our readers.  Many of our staff have also been called on to speak or lead workshops at various venues.

General Synod 2007

As we gather in Winnipeg, the Journal will be very present. In addition to gathering news and features for our special summer edition and our website, our staff will also be producing a daily paper for the week of Synod. We will also host a booth in the display area, and invite all members of Synod to visit us.

Respectfully submitted,

The Reverend Rob Towler
Anglican Journal Board of Directors

2005-2008 Board
Jennifer Moran (Eastern Newfoundland & Labrador)
The Venerable Tom Corston (Algoma)
The Reverend Canon Peter Davison (Kootenay)
Robert Dickson (New Westminster)
The Reverend Stephanie Douglas-Bowman (Toronto)
Lt. Col. The Reverend John Fletcher (Armed Forces)
Francie Healy (Ontario)
Margaret Jenniex (Central Newfoundland)
Dion Lewis (Montreal)
Tim Morgan (Rupert’s Land)
The Reverend Rob Towler (Huron)
The Right Reverend Don Young (Central Newfoundland)


The Anglican Church of Canada
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