News today of an exciting scheme from the Church of England.
@ourcofe is a twitter account that will be taken over each week by a different person or organisation in the Church of England. Here’s what the official release has to say.
We are inviting everyone from Bishops, chaplains, youth leaders, cathedral staff, diocesan staff, congregations, volunteers, ordinands, Church of England school staff and anyone else that has a role inside the Church of England to tweet a week in their Church of England life.
The tweeting will begin the first week of lent and continue for 52 weeks, if successful, the twitter account could run past the first year.
How it will work:
During the week – the tweeter will be encouraged to tweet at least three times a day ( there is no maximum number of tweets) – on their day to day business with the Church of England from their perspective. They key word here is insight, we’re letting people peek behind the curtain to see how we work day in, day out, this includes things people might expect us to be doing, unsual jobs, funny encounters, being in unusual places and through all this, how God is with them through all of this.
Think about what is in your diary, who will you be seeing? What will you be doing? What is happening in your Church/Cathedral etc? How are you interacting with the local community? What are you learning? What are you teaching?
Tweeters will also be encouraged to interact with people as much as possible. This is an opportunity for regular informal interaction, displaying a human, down to earth style which is not possible to achieve using @c_of_e.
The account will not be a platform to discuss the wider national and political issues within the Church of England, but it will be a space where we can make people aware just how diverse we are as a religious organisation and highlight some of the jobs we do and roles we take on that normally not thought about.
All tweeters would be discouraged from using offensive language or anything which is deemed rascist or homophobic etc. Tweets won’t be vetted by The Church of England communications office before being published, though the account will be regularly checked to ensure nothing offensive is posted.
The Communications Office will regularly retweet the @ourCofE account and encourage people to follow it. There will also be a page on the website listing the rota of tweeters and highlighting some of our favourite tweets.
How you can get involved:
We are looking for people who are already competent on twitter and can comfortably tweet and interact to a large number of people. Your own twitter account will be highlighted so please do not volunteer if you want to keep your personal account private.
If you would like to volunteer, or you would like some more information, please contact Tallie Proud at the Church of England Communications office: Talitha.firstname.lastname@example.org
Sounds exciting! If you think you fancy a go, contact Tallie and let her know.
We’re looking forward to some interesting (and possibly controversial tweets). Does @petespurs fancy a go?
Really, we have nothing to add (except to ask our dear readership to name the Bishops).
It is official – @revkatebottley is definitely the coolest vicar on the planet.
Dear Jesus, you can come back now. There is nothing else that needs to happen in history.
Our very own Peter Ould did an interview for Christian Today recently. It’s finally online!
The Church of England already has its own Twitter, what is different about Twurch of England?
Peter: The Twurch does two things. Firstly it’s a twitter aggregator for the Church of England. That means we put together all the tweets of all the people who do some official for the Church of England – Bishops, Clergy, Churches, Dioceses, significant lay people, that kind of thing. We follow way over 1,000 different people and organisations and that includes almost 600 tweeting priests. Anyone can go to our TwurchStream and instantly see the whole of the Church of England tweeting in one place. The second thing we do is comment on issues to do with the Church of England (and wider religion) and technology. The Twurch of England is not an official ministry of the Church of England but we have very friendly relations with them!
Who is your target audience?
Peter: The target is both Church and beyond. Within the Church of England we help to build cyber-community and help Anglican tweeters to feel “they belong”. Beyond the Church we help to show the wider world that the Church of England is as engaged with social media as the rest of secular society (if not more so).
What kind of reaction and engagement did you get from the Twitter community? Are you reaching non-Christians?
Peter: Most tweeting Anglicans (and others) love us! We tend to reach non-Christians when journalists find out about us and want to know more, but that’s OK – we’re mainly about helping to build a social media community with the Church of England.
Why do you think being active online is important for Christian organisations?
Peter: It’s important for Christians to be where people are, and since most people are now online that’s the place to be! There are tremendous opportunities in cyberspace and the Church of England has been showing in the past year or so that it’s really getting to grips with the challenge. You just need to look at the recent highly successful #everythingchanges Easter campaign to see the reach of Twitter and other forms of social media.
Peter: Are you excited by the potential of the internet?
Absolutely, and we’re only just beginning to see the potential. As Web2.0 makes way for Web3.0 and cloud management becomes mainstream, the internet will become vital to everyday life and integral to the way people think about how they interact with others. It’s important for the church to make use of modern technology and Christians up and down the country are showing that they not only understand the challenges of an e-age but also are able to make the best use of it.
Do you think social media helps the church to be relevant?
Peter: If you mean “Will people think we’re cool because we tweet?” then no! We shouldn’t use social media because we think people will be impressed, we should use it because it’s a great way to build and cement relationships. It makes us relevant because we are communicating naturally in the same way that everyone else is.
Is everything about social media positive or do you see some drawbacks?
Peter: With all gifts, it’s what you do with it that counts. Social media isn’t inherently good or evil, but it can be used for both. Certainly Christians should realise that just because they can tweet something quickly doesn’t mean that it’s a good idea! Like all communication we need to think about what we say and how it will be received. But it’s an incredibly powerful tool – I can chat to a multitude of friends and colleagues across the world instantly in a way that was impossible even 10 years ago. It’s that sense of being in community that is the heart of what it means to be the Church (the Greek ekklesia literally means “the gathering”) and social media can help nurture relationships in an incredibly powerful way.
Today the Twurch is launching Tweet39.
Tweet39 is a new social media project to come up with the definitive version of the 39 Articles in Twitter format. We’ll offer up to the wider Twurch community a version of each Article we think is cool and then get you guys to see if you can do better.
It’s really easy to join in – just use the hashtag #tweet39 to join in the conversation. Don’t forget to follow @39_tweet on Twitter as well.
Here’s our first tweet – can you do better?
#1 Only one 3-in-1 God, Father, Son and Spirit; Sans body, parts or pash; Infinite power, wisdom, good. Maker and preserver of all. #tweet39
— Tweet39 (@39_tweet) May 9, 2013
Go here to find out more.