Telling the Church of England's story in 140 characters


Stories from across the Church of England are to be told through Twitter over the course of a year.

Our Church of England in 140 Characters takes its inspiration from @sweden, a Twitter project started by the Swedish tourist board that invited Swedes to tweet about their lives for a week at a time.

@OurCofE rolls out on 3 March, starting a year of daily insights into what faith looks like in action.

Talitha Proud, Digital Media Officer for the Archbishops' Council, said it was the Church's way of "celebrating the Christian faith in action in communities across the country".

Bishops, clergy, chaplains, youth workers and churchgoers around the country will be given a different week each to tweet about their life as part of the Church.

Followers of @OurCofE will catch unique glimpses into Church life and the practical outworkings of faith, from running schools, to serving as chaplains, to managing cathedrals.

The Reverend Arun Arora, Director of Communications for the Archbishops' Council said: "Social media is an ideal platform to provide a flavour of the myriad of daily activity and service that the Church undertakes each day.

"From assemblies to funerals, prisons to hospitals, workplaces to cathedrals, Parliament to parish, the Church of England is at work daily to show the love of God to the people of England."

Mr Arora added his delight at the support shown for the campaign by Twitter.

Claire Diaz-Ortiz, head of social innovation at Twitter, said: "The incredible engagement levels we see on religious tweets the world over prove the power of 140 characters to convey hope, motivation, and inspiration.

"The @OurCofE Twitter account will build on this by telling the story of the Church of England through the eyes of its people, providing a fascinating insight into modern faith in action.

"Spanning great cathedrals to tiny parishes, it will provide real-time glimpses into the workings of the church for followers across the world, 140 characters at a time."

The Reverend Jeremy Fletcher, vicar of Beverley Minster one of the 52 weekly tweeters for the year said: "Being a parish priest is one of the most varied jobs anyone could have. From one hour to the next you can be with people in their best and worst experiences. No two days are the same. I want to tweet about it to let people know what it's like doing what I do, and about the fantastic people and organisations who welcome the church's involvement."

The Reverend Kate Bottley, a vicar and fresh expressions college chaplain from Nottinghamshire, is also excited to be one of the weekly tweeters.

"The project provides a unique opportunity to demonstrate the rich diversity of life in the Church of England," she said.

"It's great to think that these tweets might paint a colourful picture of the day to day runnings of the Church of England. From morning prayer to afternoon tea, Our Fathers to Mothers' Unions, from food festivals to food banks, this Twitter project gives a glimpse at the glorious diversity that is the life of the Church of England, will 140 characters be enough? I can't wait to get started."

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