Today we are seven! - Letter from editor

 Dear Readers, Today is the seventh birthday of Independent Catholic News. Thank you very much to everyone -  readers, subscribers, writers, editors - all who have supported and encouraged this project.

When we started up on 4 May 2000 we were updating the site twice a week. We are now posting up news every day as well as sending out daily news to e-mail subscribers. Initially there were a handful of writers at home and abroad sending in reports. We now have 43 regular contributors -  in addition to using press agencies and official news sources.

ICN has been quoted as a source by John L. Allen in his book All the Pope's Men, and has cropped up on many occasions on the BBC, Sky News, CNN, Vatican Radio, EWTN and other media outlets.

Our first e-mail in 2000 was a greetings message from the Poor Clares in Narvik, Norway. Since then we've made many more friends round the world. One reader in Kenya wrote that he only has electricity for a short time each day and relies on our bulletins to keep in touch with church news. Many students and teachers use it as a resource. The site has been designed so that it can be read by the oldest browsers and also is accessible to people with visual disabilities.

One reader wrote: "Your site is so accessible. Although I am a Baptist I often visit it to catch up on news. I am blind and use an audio screen reader called Jaws for Windows with IE6 web browser. Thanks a lot for making this possible."

At present the site is put together in reliable but clunky HTML. Later this year we are going to re-launch using a Content Management System. It will look quite similar for readers but will be much easier to update. There will also be room for pictures, automatic subscribe forms; headline feeds and other new features.

ICN is run on a voluntary basis and relies on donations and paying subscribers to cover our costs. If you would like to support our work please send donation through the DONATE button on the home page: But prayers are needed most of all. In future we plan to introduce a subscription fee for larger organisations. If there are things you would like to see on the site  please let me know. Very best wishes Jo Siedlecka

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