‘Mowing a football field cannot be done by thinking about it, but by doing it’, said the late Geoffrey Tozer, gifted Australian pianist and teacher, in another context.
So it was with the origin of The Australian Anglican Directory.
When the idea fell into my lap about twenty years ago while working in Anglican Media, I felt daunted. How could we bring together information about Anglican clergy, parishes and institutions into one simple resource?
Like Geoffrey Tozer with his students, we started at the beginning, one tentative step at a time and with the encouragement of many colleagues. That the production continued at all was due to a combination of support, perseverance and a measure of luck. Our faith lay in the knowledge that such a comprehensive and national resource was overdue, needed and possible. Time has proved the point.
At first, we groped our way into production and distribution, flying the banner of ‘publish and be damned’. Mistakes seemed inevitable! Like the jamming of the diocesan photocopying machine as we attempted to do it ourselves by desktop publishing. Or the conversation I had with the Registrar of Adelaide, ringing to tell me that every clergy entry in his diocese contained monumental errors (humble pie eaten). Or inaccuracies in the Obituaries (I leave it to your imagination). It was all very character-building.
Despite all this, we were proud of it and thankful to those who managed to tolerate our occasional blunders and continue to encourage and support us. Year by year the directory gained recognition and the move to professional publishing through Publishing Solutions resulted in increasing accuracy and a quantum leap in quality. That, now, longstanding partnership continues to be creative and harmonious.
As Publisher, I welcome this opportunity to publicly thank the many people who played a part in the establishment of the Directory, especially Bishop James Grant whose idea it was and the late Canon Fred Bedbrook, without whose financial skill and faith in the venture, it could have folded.
—Angela Grutzner, 2011