First published in 1875 as the Dominion Churchman and later as the Canadian Churchman, the Anglican Journal has a long and respected history. The newspaper’s print edition has a circulation of 38,710. It acts as a distribution vehicle for 19 regional or “diocesan” newspapers and is published 10 times a year, with the exception of July and August.
The Anglican Journal has been recognized with hundreds of journalism awards for news, features, editorial, and column writing, photography, illustration and graphic design. In 2016, the Journal received a total of 33 awards, including five for general excellence from the Associated Church Press and the Canadian Church Press.
An English bookkeeper, Frank Wootten, buys the Church Herald and renames it the 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 the 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 the 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 the 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.
The Canadian Churchman’s editorial policy is revised. While the 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.
The Canadian Churchman changes its name to the Anglican Journal/Journal Episcopal to reflect anglophone and francophone membership. A year later, the French reference is dropped and the newspaper becomes the 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, the Anglican Journal becomes a separately incorporated body to protect it from possible bankruptcy.
Readers mark the 130th anniversary of the 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 the 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 the Anglican Journal, the first in a decade, is launched with the April issue, offering a bold new reader-friendly look.
The Anglican Journal launches a new interactive website that provides daily online news and analysis at the “paperless” General Synod 2010 in Halifax.
The Anglican Journal celebrates its 140th anniversary of publication.
The Journal wins 33 awards from the Canadian Church Press and the Associated Church Press, the most received in its history.
The Journal wins 25 awards for work published in 2016 from the Associated Church Press and the Canadian Church Press.