Everything has a beginning and so I shall start…
It is a distinct honour to start this chapter of my life as editor of the English Churchman. It is a heavy responsibility to be given charge of the oldest publication in the life of the C of E and thus of the Anglican world. This paper can trace its existence back to 1761 as the St James’s Chronicle. After a series of mergers in the 19th century it finally merged into its present title in 1884.
In 1761, George III was King, and the Book of Common Prayer in its present form was just shy of a century in use. George Whitefield was the most famous Briton and by far the most listened to clergyman. John Wesley’s theological magazine, The Arminian Magazine was still seventeen years in the future and George Washington was still a Virginia planter, frontier soldier, loyal Englishman, and budding politician who had married well 2 years before.
Two hundred and sixty years is a long time for almost anything but particularly so for a newspaper, let alone a publication focussing on the Church. The Church of England newspaper started in 1828 as The Record before merging with the Church Family Newspaper, and Church Times came along in 1863…one hundred and one years after the St James’s Chronicle.
All is to say that this publication and its predecessors have been at the job for more than a passing moment. We pray by God’s grace that it will continue until our Lord Jesus’ return.
Our readers might rightly wish to know the convictions of this new editor. Let me say that I am a Christian who is Anglican by conviction and remain part of an official Anglican province by the same. I am as robustly reformed and Protestant as the Formularies of the Church of England teach in Canon A5 and as the Church of Ireland states in her Constitution and Declaration of Principles. The Trustees of the English Churchman Trust, which owns the paper, will ensure that the editorial output of this publication remains faithful to that standard.
Christopher Pierce, the Rev’d