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