With a target to train 500 parishes before July Synod, we’re delighted that so many have already attended our day long sessions, which focus on social media and writing for the web.
A further 12 dioceses have booked training for 2018, with the team running the session in Lincoln, Portsmouth, Leeds, Liverpool, Southwell and Nottingham, Carlisle, Hereford, Lichfield, Edmundsbury and Ipswich and Guildford over the next few months.
The training was created in response to the requests from parishes for more help with their digital presence and is in line with the Church of England’s Renewal and Reform strategy.
The practical course takes participants through the basics of Facebook, Twitter and Instagram and explains how you should be sharing content. We also teach the importance of analytics and paid promotions.
Learning to write for the web is crucial to making websites and social media content engaging and helpful for users. This course is church-specific, and was created for those who may feel they need some help in producing exciting copy. The course talks about audience, tone and what a website should include.
The digital communication team has spent it’s first year redesigning and launching the Church of England and A Church Near You websites. New sites for the Archbishops of Canterbury and York’s will go live in the first quarter of 2018.
That works forms the basis for the team’s priorities of digital evangelism, digital discipleship and promoting the common good.
This training course is a key part of that work, through equipping local churches to create a compelling digital and social media presence to engage existing Christians and bring more people to faith.
We’re delighted that the feedback from the lay and ordained people who have attended so far has been overwhelmingly positive, with more than 70 per cent reporting that they feel more positive about digital, and more than half – again, more than 70 per cent at many dioceses – feeling excited to try out the new skills they had learnt.
Amaris Cole is Digital Content and Communications Manager for the Church of England.
The work of the new Digital Communications team is part of the Church of England’s Renewal and Reform programme, aimed at helping us become a growing Church for all people and for all places.