The start of a new year seemed as good a time as any to re-launch the Diocesan Post under a new name and in a new format. The Diocesan Post is now Faith Tides and will be published exclusively online, on a web platform developed by the national church. The Anglican Journal and Rupert’s Land News will also be launching their web presence on this platform, which was developed partly in response to the fact that Canadian Heritage will be phasing out funding for printing costs over the next few years.
The decision to be an early adopter of the platform was motivated by the fact that the Diocesan Post had already started to transition away from print in 2020 with the introduction of a “digital” version of the newspaper — a PDF version of the paper laid out with three columns, which saw its debut in October 2020. The move to a digital paper was motivated by the September 2020 Synod and election of a new diocesan bishop. Given that the deadlines for the print edition of the paper are five weeks in advance of their publication, the print paper wouldn’t have allowed the news of the Synod and election to be shared in a timely manner.
In 2021, the Diocesan Post was only published in print three times. The last ever print Diocesan Post was sent out to readers in December 2021. Catherine Pate, director of communications for the diocese, commented on the need to move to an online format: “When I started in this position in 2016, we talked about how long it would be before we’d be ready to move the Post online. It seemed then like that day was a long way off. But so much has changed, and particularly since 2020, our way of relaying information has turned the digital corner, practically overnight.
“This has been no less true for the church and how we communicate — even livestreaming our worship services. We know that there are still places in our region where the Internet cannot be counted on, and this impacts a smaller and smaller, but no-less important part of our population. However, continuing to absorb the costs associated with printing and mailing copies to our 1,500 subscribers — a number that represents a 50 per cent decrease since the General Synod began requiring “opt-in” subscriptions rather than relying on parish lists — is not faithful financial or ecological stewardship. Sharing the stories and news of life in our diocese with every corner of our region continues to be a priority for this new digital platform, and as we have in 2021, we’ll work with parishes to ensure it reaches everyone who wants to receive it.”