*** DEBUG END ***

Playing with Facebook wins parish new friends  

03 June 2016


A PLAYGROUP in a church that had little recent experience of chil­dren is flourishing — after a priest set up a Facebook page to win support.

An assistant curate at Christ Church with St Philip, Eastbourne, the Revd Adam Ransom, suggested setting up a parent-and-toddler group in response to a diocesan in­­iti­ative for each church to come up with one new outreach idea. There were few young families in the congregation.

Older members of the con­gre­gation were keen to support the project, and he found a local charity that would supply him with a "seedcorn" grant if he could demon­strate that the group was viable.

So, after praying about it, Fr Ransom turned to Facebook, and set up a group page to see if there was any demand. "By the end of the first day, 30 people had joined the group, and by the end of the week we had 100 signed up," he said.

"At our first session, 16 children and carers came. None of them are churchgoers. There have been so many funding cuts to children’s services that there aren’t many other groups for people to go to, and we were determined ours should be free, and we give them refreshments provided by members of the con­gregation.

"Some of the older people in the congregation really jumped at the chance to come along and help.

"As I was preparing a family for baptism, I told them about the group, and the mother brought her child before the baptism. It helps people who don’t go to church feel comfortable in the church environ­ment. It helps say to them, ‘This is your church as well.’"

Now five weeks in, the group is still growing. Fr Ransom said that it showed the good use that social media could be put to by churches. "It shows social media is very im­­portant tool for churches, helping us to reach out to our local com­munity."

Browse Church and Charity jobs on the Church Times jobsite

Forthcoming Events


Church Times/RSCM:

Festival of Faith and Music

26 - 28 April 2024

See the full programme on the festival website. 

Early bird tickets available


Intercultural Church for a Multicultural World

28 May 2024

A Church Times/Church House Publishing webinar

Tickets are FREE


Church Times/Modern Church:

A Political Faith?

Monday 3 June 2024

This panel will explore where Christians have come to in terms of political power and ask, where should we go next?

Online tickets available


Church Times/Modern Church:

Participating in Democracy

Monday 10 June 2024

This panel will explore the power of voting, and power beyond voting.

Online tickets available


Green Church Awards

Closing date: 30 June 2024

Read more details about the awards


Welcome to the Church Times


To explore the Church Times website fully, please sign in or subscribe.

Non-subscribers can read four articles for free each month. (You will need to register.)