In the September 2018 Niagara Anglican, the Editor in his HOLLIStorial posed the question: To print or not to print … that’s the answer. So, what was the question? We asked readers to respond. Here are some replies …
Three reasons to continue printing
I am solidly in favour of continuing to print our Church’s newspapers.
I cannot take a computer copy to the breakfast table, underline significant passages or clip an article for sharing.
Fine with email edition
I am fine with the e-mail edition of the Niagara Anglican. I enjoy reading local church events and issues.
I don’t read the Anglican Journal much.
Keep up the good work. Just please do not stop it altogether.
Appreciate good old-fashioned paper
I gratefully receive both the Niagara Anglican and the Anglican Journal and feel that receiving both in print has great value.
While you can see pictures of what others are up to and read online, having a paper copy to hold and read is easier on the eyes, is more inclusive and allows me to share the information more easily by cutting a bit out or passing the whole paper along.
The population of parishioners in our church is largely elderly so I know they appreciate good old-fashioned paper. I am younger but still really like having the whole paper nicely laid out together, rather than needing to scroll or pick and choose what to click on.
Maclean’s magazine went down to publishing paper copies only once a month from weekly with the idea that subscribers could read more online, but I find that unless the magazine is in my hands, I don’t look it up or especially go to their site at all. So now less reading of their publication happens, and I would be sad and feel I was missing out if I had to look up and view church news online.
Signing up for subscriptions, renewing, or gifting subscriptions to family and friends would be very welcome to have online but please keep printing paper copies of the local church news and the Journal!
A telephone call
Dorothy Jeffries, Oakville, telephoned the Editor with her response and gave permission to include the following:
She wants the Niagara Anglican and Anglican Journal to continue in print.
Since she cannot get out as often as she would like, it means so much to her to receive the printed papers. She said she knows many others who are shut-ins and appreciate receiving news about the church.
Dorothy was 99 on Valentine’s Day 2018 and has been a member of St. Jude’s Oakville since 1952.
Don’t have a tablet
Please continue to print; that way I will read it.
I like to sit at the kitchen table and read the two Anglican papers over several days.
I don’t have a tablet and our computer is old and too much of an expense to replace at the moment. Besides, I don’t like to always be on a screen.
Papers are made from renewable resources and are recyclable. Tablets, phones and computers, and the materials and energy used to produce them are environmentally expensive. I don’t think the environmental argument stands up. The cost argument I understand.
I value the articles and ideas in the local and national papers and get ideas for further reading. Our bible study group has used the Lenten and Advent readings as part of our study.
All questions answered in print
I vote to continue the print edition for those who wish to receive it.
To respond to your questions in the September issue:
1. What does the paper mean to me? It is an opportunity to discover what is happening across the Diocese, and with the Journal across the country; to reflect and consider if and/or how various activities could happen in Niagara.
2 and 3. What do I value most and least, like or dislike? Most: news of Niagara and the National Church. Least: opinionated letters on any side! I also appreciate the balanced presentation of various theological approaches to controversial issues.
4. Where can we improve? I would appreciate a monthly report on clergy moves, retirements, status of parish searches for new rectors, etc. (both are included in The Anglican, paper from Toronto Diocese, which I also receive).
5. Why printed papers should or should not continue? Personally, I appreciate being able to sit comfortably (not at my desk!) with a cup of tea or coffee and simply enjoy reading and considering articles in the actual paper editions.
Good intentions aside, it is all too easy for people to ignore yet another message in the Inbox, or simply think, “I’ll get to that later.”
The compromise already in place is to ask people in which form of delivery they wish to receive their diocesan news.
As a Rector or an Interim Priest, in every parish I served, I would work through the annual list of subscribers and check it against the parish list, making all contacts possible to encourage parishioners to accept the publication in either form, but also accepting the wishes of the few who did not want to receive it at all.
6. Other thoughts/suggestions: see #4
7. Anything else? No, thank you.
Thank you for your ministry in this publication.
The Reverend Canon Fran Darlington
Love getting papers
Please keep on printing the Niagara Anglican and Anglican Journal papers.
I love getting my church newspapers.
Marguerite (Earle) Grandison
Web base might be a perfect solution
I think the on-line would be great as it would save paper/trees.
My only concern is for people who are more … how shall I say it … elderly … who might not have a computer or tablet.
Most seniors are in the groove, so to speak, and have them or have a cell phone which might also provide a way to read it if it is posted on line as a download, as my veterinarian clinic does. But not everyone has a PDF or Adobe program, so a web base might be a perfect solution.
I have just recently joined the Anglican Church and had seen a newspaper type magazine on a table but wasn’t sure if I could take it to read or needed a subscription, so I didn’t want to just take it.
So please forgive my ignorance in saying I haven’t read an issue yet, just wanted to share my concern for persons without computers or tablets as I know a few, though not many.
Need access to printed page
I feel it would be a great pity if you discontinue printing the Niagara Anglican.
Looking around my own church, I see the majority of our parishioners are senior citizens, most of whom are not computer savvy. I doubt that they would have the will or the means of finding access to your publication if it were not for the printed page.
I have discussed this with my fellow seniors, and we are of the same mind. Thank you for listening.
Many reasons to continue print
I borrow books regularly from the public library. I subscribe to the daily Hamilton Spectator.
I believe in reading for physical and mental wellbeing.
The printed paper industry provides lots of employment. I advocate using Canada
Post, writing letter sand sending cards.
Reading and writing are good for all of us.
I’m speaking as a woman, a mom, a granny, a teacher, a community involved person and a psychiatric worker.
Switch to online: one concern
Having been a rector and people’s warden for over 20 years and learned a few things in a life that spans 73 years I can safely say that the printed and mailed paper should have retired several years ago. The money spent on continuing to do this is much needed in other areas.
Every organization and company I deal with has switched to online publications.
One of the main issues with such a switch is the older parishioners who may not have access to online reading. In this case it would be still cheaper to print out a hard copy and arrange to deliver this to those people.
I think everyone knows that any other option is not an option.
The world is changing so fast, computers and cellphones will be obsolete in a few years.
You do a great job
We are too old (87 and 90) to enjoy reading the screen.
Some of our friends don’t have computers.
We are most interested in outreach articles.
Brian and Elizabeth Rothwell
Take a year off printing the paper
About the different styles and contents of various church papers, I find I cannot muster up much enthusiasm since people seem to like their activities to be recorded in the same style and content as in the previous year, so much so that there’s no need to read it.
I think it’s the writers’ job to make their submissions interesting, funny, dramatic and challenging, so that readers can be engaged. Instead of same old same old, let us encourage originality.
If someone (or some people), became filled with spirituality and enthusiasm and a whole lot of people responded in kind, then it would be worth the time to edit the submissions!
Over my adult years of reading church papers, the focus of two—the United Church and the Anglican—switched roles, taking turns in response to their leaders, exploring liturgy and interfaith services, adopting a prophetic voice. The Roman Catholic Church in Toronto and area published two vigorous monthly papers, one forward-thinking while the other seemed to us to be hurrying to go backwards.
To conclude, how about this? Take a year off printing the paper and stick to online publishing. Take the money saved to pay the person or people who do this excellent but exhausting work. Don’t let those who like to record everything their parish does hijack your agenda, which is to put out a thoughtful cross-section of theological matters and community engagement. Readers should be reading horizontally, not scanning down overly familiar parish events.
Thank you for your responses. We look forward to keeping the conversation going. Send your comments below.