Real World is now history.

The final issue was published in November 2005.

This page, and related pages, are preserved for the record, and because I think that Real World is worthy of remembrance. But that's all there is.

Real World






advertisement here for Real World.

Imagine yourself being swayed by this advertisement.

Imagine yourself seized by a profound longing to receive a copy of Real World.

Now do something about it : get in touch with the Maclaurin Chapel office

NOW ! ! ! ! !

All right, so you're not gullible. It was worth a try. ( But you can always come back later .... ). You can find out about :

About Real World.

Real World is a magazine or journal ( depending on what you want it to be ) published by the Chaplaincy Network of Auckland University.

Real World appears about three times a year, depending on the magnitude of the flood of contributions, the existence and busyness of the editor, and any other event that happens to come along. We started in 1992, and issue 28 - our tenth birthday issue - appeared in 2002 October. Issue 32 hit the streets in 2004 April; issue 33 is now in preparation.

We publish articles which address issues of interest to Christians. They are most commonly written by Christians, though that isn't a requirement; we have published articles by an atheist, by a Muslim, and by a Jew. ( That's at least one of each; I haven't checked. ) We have no philosophical or denominational bias, though it has turned out that most of the articles we have received have come from "liberal" sources. This is not policy, but we can publish only what we receive; contributions from more evangelical, charismatic, or other sources are welcome.

We have published prose and poetry, reflections and analysis, humour and sadness. We have not published any pictures, but that's mainly because no one has sent us any. If we have a policy, it's to provide a vehicle for any writing which might be of interest to Christians and which isn't frivolous. We call the publication Real World because we want to reflect what really happens in the world - so we'd even welcome frivolity, provided that it was discussed reasonably seriously.

How Real World began.

The origins of Real World are to be found in deliberations of the Chaplaincy Network in 1992. For some years, beginning around 1980, the chaplains had contributed a weekly article to Craccum, the Auckland University students' newspaper. Kevin Sharpe, the Maclaurin chaplain when the first articles were published, wanted to call it "Lifestyle", but for some or no reason the powers of Craccum never managed to provide a column title - until they invented their own, which was "Chaplain's Chat". ( I've given the punctuation as I think it was intended to be, but in practice it was variable; at least once the title appeared as "Chaplin's Chat". )

( Kevin also tried to get an outline drawing of the Christian fish symbol tone-dropped behind the article; that never materialised either, but the fish sometimes appeared in stark black and white above the column, rotated through a right angle so that it looked like a bomb. Many people were puzzled by this. )

So far as I know, nobody was ever converted by one of the Craccum articles, but we never expected that anyone would be. Successive chaplains reported that they received sufficient in the way of comments on the articles to show that at least some people were reading them, and that was what we wanted. We would therefore have kept on with the articles had we been able, but other forces intervened.

Craccum is not a stable system. Every year a new editor is elected, and the policy is subject to mighty swings. One of these swings brought in an editor who decided that the chaplains' column would no longer be published, and that was that.

Somewhere around that time, a dedicated group of students began to produce a small printed periodical called Different Threads. This was a collection of short articles on Christian topics intended to be accessible to anyone interested; it wasn't aggressively evangelistic, but raised points of interest and gentle challenge. By 1992, though, the students concerned were about to leave the university, and there was no sign of any obvious successor.

The Chaplaincy Network was concerned about this position, and of the opinion that there should be some Christian witness in print, reliably and regularly, in the university. There was much discussion, and various possibilities were explored, but the result was the first issue of Real World in October 1992.

How you can write for Real World.

Well, how you write is your business ( except that we do have some guidelines for authors, which we commend to your attention if you're thinking of writing for us ); this is about how to send it to us for publication.

The simplest approach is to send the material to the Maclaurin Chapel office addressed to the editor of Real World; that should survive changes of editor and any other adversities. If you'd like to discuss the possibility of contributing before committing yourself, you are very welcome to get in touch by telephone or E-mail.

We welcome contributions from anyone, but the editor decides what will be printed, and whether changes in the copy are desirable. Significant changes will not be made without discussion with the author.

How you can support Real World.

It is fashionable to begin requests of this sort by stating that "support" includes prayer as well as more tangible contributions.

The proposition is not only fashionable, but also true. We make the point to emphasise that our request for prayer support is not a mere formality. We earnestly request your prayers for the effectiveness of Real World in witnessing to the reality of God's glory and love, and to the Christian message of hope. Please pray that all involved in writing and producing Real World will be sensitive to God's guidance, and that the publication will find its way to all who need it.

But we like tangible support too. Now for the hard stuff. We've thought of two sorts of support which you can offer - but if you think of any other sort do let us know.

Help is welcome. At the moment, the editorial and production process is covered, though very thinly; if you think you have anything to offer in these areas, don't hesitate to talk to us about it. We do not do distribution very well. We'd like to leave little piles of copies in places around the university ( and elsewhere if we can, but that might cost more ) where people who might be interested could pick up a copy. And if you've any other ideas which might help to get the material out, let us know.

Money is also welcome. Real World is distributed free, and financed largely by grants from charitable sources. As is the usual way, the charitable sources are limited, and any supplementary income is more than welcome. It is our custom once a year to suggest to our regular readers that they might like to contribute to the expenses. Some do, some don't; contribution is not a condition of staying on the distribution list.

Whatever you would like to offer, please get in touch with the Maclaurin Chapel office in the first place. You are assured of an enthusiastic welcome !

Alan Creak,
2005 November.