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Pastoral insights offered @CofE

07 March 2014

Kate Bottley selfie

Kate Bottley selfie

A PASTORAL visit to a mother whose baby died a year ago was the first subject of a new year-long Twitter campaign designed to show the variety of work undertaken by the Church of England.

From last week, the Twitter account @OurCofE is being handed over to a different person each week to tweet about her or his experiences of life in the C of E.

The first person to tweet was the Revd Kate Bottley, Vicar of Blyth and Scrooby with Ranskill, near Worksop. She made headlines around the world after a video of her leading a "flash mob" dance at a wedding service trended on Twitter after being shared on YouTube (News, 28 June 2013).

"It's great to think that these tweets might paint a colourful picture of the day-to-day running of the Church of England," she said. "From morning prayer to afternoon tea, 'Our Fathers' to Mothers' Unions, from food festivals to foodbanks, this Twitter project gives a glimpse at the glorious diversity that is the life of the Church of England."

The director of communications for the Archbishops' Council, the Revd Arun Arora, said that the project will use the "ideal platform" provided by social media to "provide a flavour of the myriad of daily activity and service that the Church undertakes each day".

Mrs Bottley used her first tweet to post a "selfie": "Hi! Let's start by way of introduction with a vicar selfie shall we? #thisisme."

Her next tweet said: "First off going to visit mum whose baby died over a year ago to see how she is doing #pastoralcare."

This was followed by "Bit early (allowed extra time for getting lost, I always get lost) so sat in the car, praying, these sorts of visits are never easy."

The head of social innovation at Twitter, Claire Diaz-Ortiz, has welcomed the project: "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 the coming weeks, the account will be handed over to Ben Dyer, young-adults minister in the Ormskirk deanery of Liverpool diocese; Elizabeth Roberts, a PCC member at St Matthew's, Harwell, in Oxford diocese; and the Revd Jeremy Fletcher, Vicar of Beverley Minster, York diocese.

 

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