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Scottish Episcopal Synod scraps communication board in favour of ‘specialists’

15 June 2018

Church Times

The official Twitter account of the Scottish Episcopal Church

The official Twitter account of the Scottish Episcopal Church

Information and communication board.

THE Information and Communications Board of the Scottish Episcopal Church has been dissolved in favour of recruiting a team of digital communication specialist, despite opposition from the floor of its Synod, last Friday.

The Revd Philip Blackledge, the vice-convener of the board, standing in for the convener, Chris Mayo, said that communication belonged to everyone, but that it had changed drastically. A team of experts, working with the director of communications to support the dioceses, would be a better model, he said. “It is important that we make good use of the materials we have been gifted. We need a combination of professionals and volunteers who are experts.”

Having the board “sends entirely the wrong message” he said. “It discourages rather than promotes good communication, and good communication should be intrinsic through every board and group.”

The motion was formally proposed by the Very Revd Andrew Swift (Argyll & The Isles), and seconded by the convener, Robert Gordon, who said: “We need digital transformation.”

Several Synod members expressed concern, saying that having a board was important to bring “stability” and to offer advice to the dioceses. They included two former conveners of the board: the Provost of St Mary’s Cathedral, Glasgow, the Very Revd Kelvin Holdsworth, and Canon Clifford J. Piper (Moray, Ross & Caithness).

Mr Blackledge pointed out that no one had written to the board seeking advice in the two years that he had been on it.

The issue was that the board had no remit, or expert personnel, to have a place on the other boards and share good communications practice, he said. The current pathways had not been set up by the board.

“The motion is vague because we do not yet know the answers, but I hope it will spark good conversations, because changes to communications will continue,” Mr Blackledge said. “The board is an encumbrance to good communication. Our communication externally is pretty good, but it can always be improved.”
 

Motion 11 was carried by a counted vote in three houses.


Read further coverage of the General Synod of the Scottish Episcopal Church here.

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