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27 October 2019

Dear Reader,

25 years ago, Anglicans Online was created because there was no one place on the nascent internet for people to find information about Anglicanism, Anglican (Episcopal) churches or dioceses or news, or about the Anglican Communion. There were no search engines to help find things. We gathered and linked all of the information we could think of that would be useful to Anglicans worldwide, and worked hard to keep it up to date.

We've been updating this site every Sunday for 25 years, normally opening with a letter to our readers. That's about 1300 updates. We've decided to end our weekly updates, and remove the sections that depended on them.

As our 25th anniversary date approaches, we recognize that there are now numerous good internet sites to cover what we covered, and more. The Anglican Communion has had its own website for about 20 years (though for quite a while it linked to AO as an information resource). Every large province has a website, and 60% (460 of 764) of dioceses recognized by the Anglican Communion Office have websites. There are now so very many sources of information.

While there is nothing out there quite like AO, all of the information that we have so faithfully provided is now available elsewhere. Anglicans Online was already 2 years old when the Alta Vista search engine was launched, and was almost 6 years old when Google overtook Alto Vista to become the world's favourite search engine. Nowadays you can find anything you want with a search engine; much of it is actually correct. As with all of the rest of modern society, there are niche sites that cater to every imaginable set of Anglican-related beliefs and politics.

We have closed our News Centre (though its archives remain). We have closed our Vacancies Centre, which has long been supplanted by diocesan and newspaper vacancy sites. We have closed our Letters to the Editor section, though all of the letters we have published are in our back issues. In 2019, most people use Twitter or Facebook to say something that they might once have put into a letter to the editor. And, of course, we have ended our tradition of writing an essay in this space every week. Some AO writers will find other places to publish their work; some will choose to do something else.

Anglicans Online will remain as a resource directory. We will continue to update it as new information reaches us, and we will continue to note additions and changes on our Noted recently page. We will no longer send email and Twitter notifications of periodic updates, but we will be making updates. Every page lists the date on which it was last updated. If we notice that a page hasn't been updated in years, we will probably remove it. In 1994 the server computer hosting Anglicans Online was under a desk in an editor's home; today it is hosted in a commercial data centre in Fremont, California. It's a new era for all of us, but surely you've all seen it coming.

The many people who have worked on Anglicans Online through the years thank you for your attention and support.


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