In the site notifications this morning came the news that it is eight years since Jess set this site up. I thought it right to notify her and she was glad to hear that it was still active and wished all old friends well; but she indicated firmly that her life is now cast in other directions. That left open the question which has exercised me for some time, which is what is this blog for?

It’s original, somewhat polemical character was retained, as it seemed to me, as acting editor, not my place to revise it. It made it difficult for me to blog regularly once I took on a new post in 2016, partly because ill-wishers were apt to comb it for “mico-aggressions” about which they could then use to complain to my employers; some liberals in academia are not, alas, very liberal in anything other than the licence they accord to their own feelings. Not wishing to cause difficulties for others, and given the pressure on my time, I withdrew from regular blogging. But this place has a life of its own and it continued thanks to the efforts of others.

The reminder of the eighth anniversary and Jess’s formal withdrawl seem to me an occasion for a review, and to that end I’d like to solicit comments from those who write and read this blog.

I have just done something I do rarely, that is to block a commentator. There are limits beyond which the hospitality of any site should not be tested, and an Orthodox commentator trespassed them. I have no problem with a certain waspishness of tone, and indeed, having been guilty of it myself, it would be hypocritical to complain of it in others; but all things in moderation, otherwise moderation of another sort is in order.

I have deliberately not commented on intra-Catholic issues for a number of reasons: there are many others better-qualified than me to do this, just as there are others less qualified; I don’t, in all honesty, have anything to add that would be edifying; and I find it quite tedious. Those who want to argue over whether the current Pope is the real Pope can do so in the many parts of the internet where they will find congenial company. For me, he’s the Pope and that’s all I really have to say on the matter.

What I have done latterly, is what I did four years ago, which is to comment on theological issues and on the intersection between Faith and the public square, and that is what I intend to continue to do. If there are any topics people think of particular interest, let me know; if you’d like to write here, let me know.

There is a rich back catalogue of pieces here, and whether I agree with what others have written or not, I am letting them stand for the edification, or otherwise, of the reader, and I commend them to those who peruse these pages.

I’d like to thank those who have contributed here across the last eight years, and to fromally thank Jess for her founding the site and all she contributed before life took her in other directions. All those who have written here have my thanks; I have learned much from you all. So, in short, I intend to continue to blog as often as I can. Christians are not Christians in isolation, we are part of a community, and this community, after seven years here, is part of me.

Thank you, all those who have shown and show an interest in this, and here’s to another eight years.