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C of E tells it on Twitter

03 March 2014

Kate Bottley selfie

Kate Bottley selfie

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

From this morning, the Twitter account @OurCofE will be handed over to a different person each week to tweet about his or her experiences of life in the C of E.

Taking charge this week is a Vicar from Nottinghamshire, the Revd Kate Bottley, who made headlines after a video of her leading a "flash mob" dance at a wedding service trended on Twitter after being shared on YouTube (Comment, News, 28 June 2013).

"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 running of the Church of England. 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, Vicar of Blyth and Scrooby with Ranskill, used her first tweet this morning 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 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."

In the coming weeks, the account will be handed over to Ben Dyer, youth and young adults minister in the Ormskirk deanery of the diocese of Liverpool; Elizabeth Roberts, a PCC member from St Matthew's, Harwell, in the diocese of Oxford; and the Revd Jeremy Fletcher, Vicar of Beverley Minster, in the diocese of York.

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