In an effort to progress within modern times the Church of England has begun Tweeting, along with a number of high profile members of the clergy.
While some may feel that the use of this medium is a bad move, I feel that in an ever more internet based community this can only help the faith move forward and contribute within the modern era.
The Church of England have been utilizing the social network, and its 140 character tweets, to spread news and messages across the Anglican community; allowing busy commuters to keep up to date with their faith on the move. The COE states that the site allows them to engage with the Twitter community and enlighten their audience about the church’s work.
The site was also used in the recent search for a new Archbishop of Canterbury, which began with an open call to the Twitter community for suggestions of possible candidates for the role, alongside consulting senior members of the Church and other faiths. So in this instance we can see how that Tweeting has allowed for a more democratic feel within the church, making its members feel more included within the Christian community; something that appeals to the younger audience, and works to break down conservative stereotypes of the Church.
Since the appointment of the new Archbishop, Justin Welby has also been embracing the new form of communication. Welby spoke out on the recent talks of women bishops as he tweeted, ‘very grim day, most of all for women priests and supporters, need to surround all with prayer & love and co-operate with our healing God’. Here we can see how Twitter had allowed the Archbishop to speak out to a large section of the community, spreading his thoughts and prayers much further than he could through the traditional church sermon.
So while the church service is still a very central part of the Christian faith, it is very important to embrace the modern age of social networking in order to spread the Christian message and enlighten a new generation of followers.
Margaret Rowling says
I was glad that Rosie wrote this , she intended it for the Envoy, but I persuaded Marilyn to let us put it on the blog first.
I thought those of you who are making your first tentative tweets and getting your head around Twitter might just like a few suggestions of people to follow.
Please use the comments to suggest more people to follow on Twitter.