A big thank-you for seven years of support
As editor and publisher of the Network Norwich and Norfolk website, I want to issue a big thank-you as we approach our seventh anniversary.
Thank you to the 2,800 of you who subscribe to our weekly e-newsletter and to the 11,000+ of you who visit our site every month.
Thank you for sending in hundreds of articles, event, pictures and comments over the past seven years.
Thank you for supporting the site with your prayers and finances.
This is a website for every single one of you. For everyone who regards themselves as part of the diverse Christian community right across Norwich and Norfolk.
The job of the website is to help give expression to all parts of that community, to reflect and report on what they are thinking, saying and doing. To help them communicate and connect with like-minded others and also, if they wish, to engage with those of different views and even of different faiths or none.
We aim to report without fear or favour and the website strives to maintain an independent stance, with balanced articles which give everyone the chance to have their say, as long as it is put in a fair and reasonable way.
We do not take positions on matters of doctrine, but aim to reflect and report on what the different elements of the Christian community do and believe – and the unity of that constituency is our raison d’être. However, we cannot do this properly or fairly by ignoring or censoring the views of any parts of that community, however small or controversial.
Every so often, an article that we decide to carry on the website will raise comment, and even controversy, amongst part of our audience.
But by carrying an article on a topic we are not endorsing it, merely reporting and reflecting what members of the Christian community are doing or saying. Just because the BBC or The Times carries an article about a British National Party event for example, does not mean that they support the BNP’s views or would encourage people to go along to it or vote for them at an election – they are merely trying to inform the public and the debate and let them make up their own minds.
By adhering to these principles we have, over the past seven years, gained a large audience, a local and national reputation and several national awards.
Favouring the views of any one section of the Christian community (even if it is a sizeable part) and censoring another, puts all of these achievements at risk.
Over 25 years as a professional journalist, whether working in the secular or religious press, I have striven to maintain the ethics of my trade which include truthfulness, honesty, accuracy, objectivity, impartiality, fairness and public accountability.
I see no reason at all to deviate from these principles on this website – in fact on a site which comes under the Christian banner, they should be all the much stronger and more evident.
There are of course limits – we aim to report on the Norfolk Christian community and if the topic is not about, or of direct interest to, that constituency we leave it to others writ about.
I sincerely appreciate people’s heart-felt beliefs and convictions, especially those who take the time and trouble to send them to me – but I would ask that you are equally ready to give others the right to have their say and put their views forward.
As a team, we strongly support, as I am sure you do, the principle of Freedom of Speech – that everyone has the right to put their views and be listened to without fear of recrimination.
On this website I make only one exception – and that is myself.
You will not find my views or beliefs anywhere on this website, apart from here, as this is the first time in the seven years that I have allowed myself the indulgence of stating my views. I have done so only because it is right at the core of this website and the way that I approach editing it – and just occasionally it needs to be made clear.
This website is a platform for each one of you and not for me.
As we mark our seventh anniversary in a couple of weeks' time, we will be offering all of our users the opportunity to show their support for what we do - so watch out for that.
Editor and publisher
As always, I am more than happy to receive your comments, ideally publically here, so others can also benefit from them, or if not, then directly to me via e-mail