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This page specifies the naming rules for ANGLICAN.ORG. The casual reader will likely be more satisfied by the information contained in the "Naming plan" page. Below is a narrative on the naming rules and the reasons for them.

Technical considerations

It is in 1999 not technically sound to make plans that involve sharing a domain among computers that are not under one administration. This means that it is not technically sound to issue XYZ.ANGLICAN.ORG unless it is clear who is going to administer the domain and who will operate the computers that implement the domain.

In 1998 it is not technically sound to use a single IP address for more than one domain. While the requisite HTTP/1.1 "virtual hosting" capability works well, less than half of the browsers in use at the end of 1997 support HTTP/1.1, and most of the ones that do not support HTTP/1.1 are issued by the lower-cost ISPs that are the norm for people outside large cities and outside the United States. (What it means for an ISP to support an access protocol is that the ISP provides its customers with some software when they subscribe to its service; the question is whether or not the ISP-provided software supports HTTP/1.1. A survey taken in August 1997 showed that most ISPs were bundling a version of MSIE that was small enough to fit on a 1.4MB floppy disk, which means that it was not the newest version.)

While domain name space is theoretically infinite, IP address space is a precious resource, and it is irresponsible to make a plan for ANGLICAN.ORG that will run out of address space before all of the world's dioceses and provinces and national churches are connected.

These technical considerations matter because in the Anglican Communion there are about 40 national churches, about 400 dioceses, and many tens of thousands of parishes. We do not have enough address space to grant a unique IP address to every parish; at the moment we have barely enough to grant a unique IP address to every diocese. So we must very sparingly issue addresses out of our own pool. The cost to us of issuing a name for an address defined elsewhere is much lower, but if we issue names with reckless abandon, then we will lose the Anglican orderliness of naming that is quite dear to our tradition.

Cultural considerations

While the Anglican church began in England, and has had most of its liturgy written in English, and English is the language of the Internet, the use of abbreviations is much more cultural than linguistic. Persons outside Australia might not know that NSW stands for New South Wales, and persons outside the United States might not know that EO stands for Eastern Oregon. In truth, most people inside the United States would probably not think of Eastern Oregon when they saw the letters "EO". But "EO" is the official abbreviation for the Diocese of Eastern Oregon. It was made official in the era in which books were typeset with molten lead, and every abbreviation saved the church money.

The Internet is worldwide, and it is hardly more expensive to say EasternOregon than EO. So we have adopted the principle of avoiding abbreviations as much as possible. A few domain names were allocated before this principle was formulated, so for example you will see ECR.ANGLICAN.ORG standing for the Diocese of El Camino Real and PGH.ANGLICAN.ORG standing for the diocese of Pittsburgh. The Diocese of El Camino Real is the diocese that incorporates Silicon Valley and the U.S. computer industry; it was the very first diocese to apply for a subdomain. The Diocese of Pittsburgh is located in the city whose universities, Carnegie-Mellon and the University of Pittsburgh, were at the leading edge of the Internet but not so much as to walk away from Christ.

Subdomains of ANGLICAN.ORG will not use abbreviations unless there is an utterly compelling reason to do so; the people who must feel this compulsion are the members of the Naming Plan Subcommittee, whose membership is listed below.

Preallocated domain names

Domain names for every national church, province, and diocese have already been allocated. A vast table (about 100KB) of those names can be found at http://anglican.org/domain/admin/bydomain.html. Names for other entities have been partially preallocated, and naming schemes exist for religious orders and Anglican societies.

The ANGLICAN.ORG domain name is under the stewardship of the Society of Archbishop Justus, but they do not own it or monopolize it. Any similar society, e.g. the Society of Archbishop Cuthbert, that wishes to operate computers for the benefit of Anglicans and other Christians on the Internet, is welcome to a subdomain name. We consider the names of all deceased Archbishops of Canterbury to have been pre-allocated for this purpose.

Naming conventions

National Church

National church domain names were allocated, with few exceptions, to be the ordinary English name for that country, rather than for the name of the church itself. Thus, The Scottish Episcopal Church has the name SCOTLAND.ANGLICAN.ORG rather than SCOTTISHEPISCOPAL.ANGLICAN.ORG. By rights the Episcopal Church in the United States of America, ECUSA.ANGLICAN.ORG, should have been UNITEDSTATES.ANGLICAN.ORG, but this name was allocated very early on before we came fully to understand about abbreviations. They are always welcome to change to UNITEDSTATES.ANGLICAN.ORG. All national churches listed with the Anglican Communion Office as being part of the Anglican Communion are entitled to use ANGLICAN.ORG.

Transnational Province

A Transnational Province is a province that includes more than one country. An example is The Church of the Province of Southern Africa, which includes Namibia, Lesotho, Swaziland, Moçambique, Angola and the Atlantic islands of St. Helena. Transnational Provinces are named after the largest or best-known country or region in their purvey. Thus the Episcopal Church in Jerusalem & the Middle East is known as MIDDLEAST.ANGLICAN.ORG and the Dioceses in Central America and Caribbean is known as CENTRALAMERICA.ANGLICAN.ORG. All provinces listed with the Anglican Communion Office as being part of the Anglican Communion are entitled to use ANGLICAN.ORG.


A province is a division of a national church. For example, in England there is a Province of York and a Province of Canterbury. Not every country is divided into provinces, and in some countries the provinces seem to have more relevance to the average churchgoer than they do in other countries. Provinces are named in exactly the same way that dioceses are named, save that if the name of a province is equal to the name of a diocese, then its name will be PROVINCE-XYZ.ANGLICAN.ORG.


The diocese is the fundamental organizational unit of Anglicanism. There are 535 dioceses currently part of the Anglican Communion. The domain name of a diocese is, when possible, the name of that diocese. The words "and", "of", and "the" are omitted: the Diocese of Bath and Wells becomes BATHWELLS.ANGLICAN.ORG, and the Diocese of the Niger becomes NIGER.ANGLICAN.ORG.. Where a diocese has been formed by merging together smaller historical dioceses, as the Diocese of Limerick and Killaloe, the first or best-known name is used: LIMERICK.ANGLICAN.ORG. When the name of a diocese includes a geographic word, as in Eastern Newfoundland, that word is spelled out: EASTERNNEWFOUNDLAND.ANGLICAN.ORG. But where there are two or more geographic words, as in South Western Brazil, they are abbreviated: SWBRAZIL.ANGLICAN.ORG. The apostrophe character is not permitted in any domain names and is simply omitted: The Diocese of Rupert's Land becomes RUPERTSLAND.ANGLICAN.ORG. With the exception of a few extraprovincial dioceses such as the Diocese of Puerto Rico, the decision as to whether or not a diocese is allowed to use ANGLICAN.ORG is made by checking with the national church or province to make sure that the diocese is indeed a member.

Diocese with duplicate name

There are two diocese names that are used twice: the Diocese of Newcastle exists both in Australia and in England, and the Diocese of Rochester exists both in the United States and England. (There is also a Roman Catholic Diocese of Rochester). In this case of duplicated name, the older diocese gets the unannotated name, and the newer is annotated with the name of its country: NEWCASTLE.ANGLICAN.ORG is in England, but NEWCASTLE-AU.ANGLICAN.ORG is in Australia.


The parish is the fundamental unit by which the church interacts with the community, and in general parishes should be allocated domain names typical of the community in which they are located. There is no specific rule for the naming of parishes within ANGLICAN.ORG, nor, in fact, is there any specific suggestion as to whether or not parishes should even have names under ANGLICAN.ORG.

It is certainly impossible to give parishes names at the top level. There are a lot of parishes in the world named Christ Church, and St Peter, and All Saints, and Redeemer. If one of them is given the name CHRIST-CHURCH.ANGLICAN.ORG, then what would the others do? Parishes must be named according to a naming scheme that generalizes. Or perhaps they should not be named according to any scheme at all, but rather just located search engines, and by using index links from city, diocese, and directory web pages. Trying to give parish churches domain names that are "sensible" requires that people's sensibilities be identical, and they are not.

Country and geographic domains work better in some countries than others; the name CHRIST-CHURCH.LOS-ALTOS.CA.US works because the LOS-ALTOS.CA.US domain is well organized. But the nearby Calvary Church in Santa Cruz found it more sensible to use a name allocated via their Internet Service Provider, www.cruzio.com/~djj/calvary/calvary.html.
If a diocese is interested in administering a diocesan subdomain for parishes, and has the necessary resources to do it, then parishes can be given names such as ely.anglican.org/parishes/camgsm/,the Parish of St. Mary the Great, in the Diocese of Ely.

Seminary or Theological College

The choice of word "Seminary" or "Theological College" varies from country to country. We refer to the colleges in which people are trained to be Anglican priests. If a seminary or theological college is predominantly Anglican, it is entitled to a domain name in EDU.ANGLICAN.ORG, such as VIRGINIA.EDU.ANGLICAN.ORG. Determination of whether or not an organization is predominantly Anglican is from mention in one or more national-church annual books. For example, if the ECUSA annual "red book" states that an institution is an Anglican seminary, then it is entitled to a name. If the Church of England annual states that an institution is an Anglican theological college, then it is entitled to a name.

Religious order

Religious orders have names under ORDERS.ANGLICAN.ORG, as in ORDERS.ANGLICAN.ORG/FODC for the Franciscan Order of the Divine Compassion, or ORDERS.ANGLICAN.ORG/SSF for the Society of St. Francis. While abbreviations are discouraged in other places under ANGLICAN.ORG, centuries of tradition have made the abbreviations for religious orders quite well known all over the world, and it is appropriate to use abbreviations in this case. A religious order is allowed to use the name ANGLICAN.ORG if it is listed in the Anglican Religious Communities Year Book.

Religious communities

Religious communities have names under ORDERS.ANGLICAN.ORG, as in ORDERS.ANGLICAN.ORG/osb/bartonville for the Orderof St Benedict community in Bartonville. While abbreviations are discouraged in other places under ANGLICAN.ORG, centuries of tradition have made the abbreviations for religious orders quite well known all over the world, and it is appropriate to use abbreviations in this case. A religious community is allowed to use the name ANGLICAN.ORG if it is listed in the Anglican Religious Communities Year Book. Most religiouis communities are part of an order that is listed in that Year Book; a community that is part of a listed order does not need to be listed separately in order to qualify. But a community can qualify by being listed even if its order is not.


Religious societies are named under SOCIETIES.ANGLICAN.ORG, as in SOCIETIES.ANGLICAN.ORG/EpiscopaliansUnited. Most societies are not known worldwide by their abbreviations, as very few of them are significantly international. If a society has as its primary purpose the operation of Internet services for other Anglicans, as do the Society of Archbishop Justus and the Society of Archbishop Cuthbert, they are entitled to one suitably-named subdomain of ANGLICAN.ORG for this purpose, e.g. JUSTUS.ANGLICAN.ORG or CUTHBERT.ANGLICAN.ORG. There is a sufficiently large number of departed Archbishops of Canterbury that perhaps future similar organizations can follow this naming convention easily.

International Resource

On rare occasion, the global nature of the Internet will justify the creation of a name for an online resource that transcends any of the national churches. Such a site must be authoritative, independent, international and very definitely Anglican. And it must be recognized by at least one national church (see above under "Seminary or Theological College").

An example of this is CANONLAW.ANGLICAN.ORG, a site devoted to Anglican canon law. Note that the site itself is the resource in question, and not the society that created the site.

The Anglican Domain Naming Committee will entertain additional discussion about how new entities should be named within this structure. We are currently thinking about guilds, for example: the Guild of Vergers, the Guild of Ushers, and so forth.

Making the rules, and how they can be changed

The plan for ANGLICAN.ORG was made originally by the Anglican Domain Internet Committee, formed in the United States and England in 1995. Its membership at that time was as follows:

Harriet Baber (California, USA), John Covert (Massachusetts, USA), Simon Kershaw (Cambridgeshire, England), Steve Lowe (Illinois, USA), Cynthia McFarland (New York, USA), Elliot Mitchell (Tennessee, USA), Bill Moorhead (Iowa, USA), Geoff Percival (Yorkshire, England), Rob Pickering (Buckinghamshire, England), Brian Reid (California, USA), Thomas Rightmyer (North Carolina, USA), Simon Sarmiento (Hertfordshire, England), Charles Smith (Georgia, USA)

The domain name was registered in the name of the technical subcommittee, whose members are listed below. The Naming Plan subcommittee (membership listed below) controls the naming rules for names within ANGLICAN.ORG. You can send email to the entire current membership of the committee by sending to anglican-domain@justus.anglican.org.

The technical subcommittee that created and manages the domain itself is Simon Kershaw (SK4754), Rob Pickering (RP44), Brian Reid (BKR), and Charles Smith (CTS4). The members of this technical subcommittee are the owners of record of the domain itself, as individuals.

The name space allocation plan for ANGLICAN.ORG was devised by the Anglican Naming Plan subcommittee, which was Simon Kershaw, Cynthia McFarland, Rob Pickering, Brian Reid, Simon Sarmiento, and Charles Smith. That committee has responsibility for the naming rules, and must agree to all changes. You can reach the members of the Naming Plan subcommittee at domain-naming@justus.anglican.org