'Pray for the media,' urges leading CofE bishop

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A senior Church of England bishop has called for Christians to pray for the media and its impact globally, nationally and locally.

The Rt Revd Helen-Ann Hartley, Bishop of Newcastle, makes the appeal in a video launched this week to support the National Day of Prayer for the Media, organised by Christians in Media.

She explains: "The power of the media to speak truth to power, to change and to set the agenda, to respond and to tell a story of positive hope matters so much in our world today."

The bishop, who has been involved in media since being ordained in 2005, speaks of the massive changes she has seen over those years.

She said: "The world of media has changed hugely in the last few years and has enabled so many stories that are global to become local. Issues from countries and continents that are so far away are suddenly transported into our living rooms."

Bishop Helen-Ann calls on churches and Christians to support the National Day of Prayer on Sunday 29 October, describing it as "a fantastic opportunity to engage with prayer specifically for all those who are working in the media landscape in lots of different ways.

"Let it be a day that enables, that encourages, that inspires. May it be a day that calls for a reset in how we seek to live and to tell our story – our good news message of hope for a world that so needs it."

The Christians in Media network is encouraging churches to set aside time in their services or meetings on Sunday 29 October to pray for their local, regional, national and social media, and for those in their congregations who work in and with media in all its forms.

The charity has also organised an online prayer meeting on Thursday 12 October, when prominent Christians working in the media will be speaking. They include: Julia Bicknell, journalist and editor; Warren Nettleford, ITV News broadcaster and founder of Right Thing Films; and Tim Levell, programme director, Times Radio.

In its call to prayer, Christians in Media says, "As Christians, we are called to pray for our world and our society. From national newspapers to local radio, from websites to specialist publications, from TV networks to blogs, all have a valuable role to play.

"A thriving global and national media matters to all of us. We want to know about our world, its celebrations, its problems and its joys, and we need a thriving media to help us engage with it.

"The National Day of Prayer shows our commitment to pray for and to stand alongside all those who work across the media landscape."

Rev Peter Crumpler is a Church of England minister in St Albans, Herts, UK, and a former communications director with the CofE. He has also recorded a video in support of the National Day of Prayer.