Church of England gets tweeting over Christmas

Church of England clergy are getting out their smartphones and tablets to share the meaning of Christmas via Twitter.

The Archbishop of Canterbury, Dr Rowan Williams (@lambethpalace), the Archbishop of York, Dr John Sentamu (@johnsentamu) and Archbishop Designate Justin Welby (@bishopofdurham) will all be tweeting their Christmas Day sermons for the first time ever this year.

Clergy and congregations across England will be tweeting the real meaning of Christmas as part of the Church's Christmas Tweet campaign, #ChristmasStartsWithChrist.

"This is a brilliant opportunity for parishes to take the good news of the first Christmas out of churches and into people's lives and homes," says the Reverend Arun Arora (@RevArun), Director of Communications at the Archbishops' Council.

"It is the first time that the joy and excitement of Christmas will have been broadcast widely on Twitter.

"There are large numbers of social media enthusiasts to be found in pews and pulpits across the country. This is an invitation for them to join together to celebrate the joy of the Christ Child coming into the world, taking the real meaning of Christmas to a new digital audience.

"Churches from all denominations will be invited to broadcast their services via Twitter."

The hashtag #ChristmasStartsWithChrist goes live on Christmas Eve. Anglicans will be tweeting their thoughts from carol, crib and midnight services as well as the highlights of the sermons from the traditional Christmas morning services.

A Twitter spokesperson said: "Twitter brings you closer to the things you are passionate about - and for millions of people across the globe that is faith.

"It is fantastic to see the Church of England embracing Twitter and using it to share their Christmas message with new audiences."