Publication of a paper version of Anglican/Episcopal World magazine, published quarterly by the Anglican Communion Office in London, has been suspended in favor of an email distribution model, said the Rev. Canon Kenneth Kearon, secretary general of the Communion.
"It has been suspended for financial reasons. Distribution costs have been going up. We mail 11,000 copies four times per year," said Kearon, adding that the magazine has recently run an annual deficit of £70,000 (US$136,000), not including staff costs. No staff were laid off as a result of the suspension.
Acknowledging that it is an important communication tool for the worldwide Anglican church and its 77 million members in 160 countries, Kearon said, "I am genuinely sorry to be suspending it, but we had to look at whether that level of expenditure was justified."
The latest issue, Advent 2007, featured the Archbishop of Canterbury's September 2007 visit to the U.S. house of bishops meeting in New Orleans. An "editor's note" announced that the publication "as a magazine...can be considered 'suspended' until a future date yet to be determined."
The magazine has also in recent years carried a note to readers urging them to visit the Communion's website and subscribe to the Anglican Communion News Service (ACNS), noting that "as a quarterly magazine format, Anglican World is not able to grasp the scope of the often fast-flowing items that are easily accessible to ACNS." As a full-color, glossy magazine, Anglican World has been published since 1993.
Anglican/Episcopal World was mailed gratis to all 800 bishops of the Anglican Communion, members of the international Anglican Consultative Council and others. Some free copies and some paid subscriptions also went to national church offices, seminaries, other institutions and individuals.
A new electronic publication called Anglican World News will be sent by email to the two-thirds of the current distribution list that has Internet and email access, with the rest mailed, he said.
"People use the (Anglican Communion) website and they do download stories from the website. We see it as the main vehicle for getting stories out," Kearon said.
The new format will be a bit "sharper," and more geared to such events as the Lambeth Conference this summer, Kearon said, rather than a quarterly identified by church seasons such as Advent and Michaelmas.
The new publication is evolving and Kearon said he hopes to have the first issue sent within a few weeks and distributed at least four times per year.
This story first appeared on the Anglican Journal website.