Helping GetReligion watch global media

Editor’s note: It’s been some time since the GetReligionista team included someone who wears a clerical collar, especially — as was the case with the Rev. Elizabeth Eisenstadt Evans– someone with experience in mainstream and religious-market journalism. Another key: The arrival of a scribe who is very, very familiar with the unique media scene in Europe and in the Middle East. So, here we go.

Salutations and felicitations to GetReligion readers. As a journalist on things religion I’ve been a long time fan and occasional commentator on the website and look forward to joining the team.

My name is George Conger and my work has appeared in various British newspapers, such as The Times, Telegraph and Guardian. I have also worked as one of the British correspondents for The Jerusalem Post — specializing in diplomatic and defense stories. From time to time the BBC and the ABC (Australian Broadcasting Corporation) will trot me out to opine on Anglican affairs as well.

However, I am best known for my work with The Church of England Newspaper (CEN) in London, an independent operation that puts out the world’s oldest church newspaper — every Friday since 1828. It is also the most widely quoted church newspaper on Fleet Street. For those with a literary caste of mind, until 1948 the CEN was known as The Record. Anthony Trollope would signal the church politics of his characters by reference to their preferred newspaper — the low-church Obadiah Slope took The Record.

I should stress that the CEN is not the “official” newspaper of the Church of England — there is no such animal. For the past 13 years I’ve been the newspaper’s overseas correspondent, which means I have covered thousands of religion related stories taking place beyond the pale of civilization — which in British terms means beyond the M25, and have reported from Africa, Asia, the Americas and Europe on everything from World Council of Churches meetings to pan-Anglican jamborees.

In addition to journalism work, I’m a priest of the Episcopal Diocese of Central Florida and have served as a parish priest, hospital and hospice chaplain. In recent years I have had a ministry devoted to those suffering from dementias.

I came into the writing game late in life after a misspent youth on Wall Street. I was educated at Duke, Yale and Oxford Universities and started off as a business executive until I “got religion” and entered the ordained ministry in my late 20’s. While studying church history at Oxford I fell into journalism and have been hard at it ever since.

When I comment on coverage of Anglican affairs, I will do so as a working participant in many of those events, with that professional connection right out in the open. However, tmatt and the folks at GetReligion see me as a kind of all-purpose foreign correspondent — with my work focusing on religion coverage in the English-language press of Europe, as well as Australia, the Middle East and points South.

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About geoconger
  • Mike

    I’m delighted to see that George Conger is joining the GetReligion team. I have long admired his coverage of the Episcopal Church. He enjoys a reputation as a solid, reliable, accurate reporter on church affairs both here and abroad. Welcome!

  • Jerry

    Welcome, George. I look forward to reading (and commenting :-) on your posts.

  • Norman

    Welcome- look forward to reading you!

  • Home on the Range

    Awesome!! Welcome George – I’ve been wondering if GetReligion would cover more international religion news. And now, here you are! Terrific – looking forward very much to your posts!

  • Bobby

    Welcome, George!

  • Bill P.

    Welcome to a welcome addition!

  • Sarah Pulliam Bailey

    Welcome! Interested to see your coverage, George.

  • http://!)! Passing By

    Yes, welcome and all that. I’ve enjoyed your blog from time to time, as I follow the Anglican blogs. But when I was double-checking that I had the right George Conger, I was shocked…SHOCKED, I tell you, to see this journalistic lapse:

    The Diocese of Forth Worth

    FORTH???? And which diocese are we talking about: the TEC diocese, or the Iker diocese?

    Ok, I’m just teasing. I’m born and bred Fort Worth and have done the same once… just once…

    But you should know this is a tough crowd. :-)

    Welcome indeed. I really enjoyed the Anglican voice of Elizabeth Evans, and plan to enjoy yours as well.

  • Mike

    To Passing By: When I worked at the newspaper in Forth Worth, I did an entire column on the number and prevalence of the misspelling in major publications of “Fort” as in “Forth Worth.” Happens all the time!

  • James Coder

    Wonderful having you here, George.

  • David R

    Greetings, George. I’ll look forward as well to your collumns and our insuing discussions.

  • http://!)! Passing By

    Mike – a colleague of mine does the “Forth” thing all the time, but she lives in Grand Prairie (Dallas County) so I cut her some slack.

    In all seriousness, let me restate that, teasing aside, I’ve read enough of Mr. (Fr.? titles varies among Episcopalians) Conger’s writing to be a fan. I’m really pleased to see him here.

  • Karl B.

    I am addicted to your Anglican Unscripted show on Anglican TV – please bring that same humor here.

  • Steve Hayes

    I was just about to unsubscribe from the GetReligion Twitter feed, as it seemed to be entirely concerned with the USA. Now perhaps I’ll wait a little longer and see wee what happens.

  • Dave M

    FINALLY… some global content.

  • Robert+

    This is great news. Big fan of your blog and your AU show. Do you plan on doing video at GR as well?