What is Stained Glass Summer?
Many parish churches are full of beauty and history, attracting visitors from near and far. A large number include stunning stained glass windows, often depicting characters and stories from the Bible.
To encourage people to visit your local church building, whether they are churchgoers or not, we invite you to share a picture or video of one of your stained glass windows, with some text to explain it, on your preferred social media channel(s).
We hope this is an easy way for your church or cathedral to show off its wonderful building to the online world, whilst talking about the Bible and sharing its life-transforming message.
Check out the image below for some great #StainedGlassSummer posts across Twitter, Instagram and Facebook from last year!
How can my church get involved?
Simply create a social media post using the instructions below. We’ve also got a few extra ideas for involving children and young people.
Everyone is welcome to take part! Did you take part last year? Great! Your local community might have engaged with your campaign last year, making them more likely to come back again this year!
Share your #StainedGlassSummer post
You could share your post from either an individual or a church social media account. Here’s what to do:
- Pick a stained glass window in your church and take the best picture you can. Make sure all the details are visible – you might want to take several pictures to share, to include some close ups.
- Write a short caption about the stained glass. You could talk about one or several of these things:
- Who the window shows and the Bible story it represents
- A Bible verse that the window brings to life or was inspired by
- Something to do with the history of the window and its design
- Finish off your text by saying everyone is welcome to come and see the window. You could also let people know about when your building is open.
- Finally, include the hashtag #StainedGlassSummer. This will make your post discoverable to everyone taking part, including us. We will be retweeting and reposting your contributions from the Church of England’s national Instagram, Facebook and Twitter channels throughout July and August.
- Post your picture and text on social media. Choose the platform that is used the most by your church. This could include Facebook, Instagram and Twitter.
Alternatively, you could record a short video on a smart phone, tablet or camera. It could include someone explaining why they love the window, or talking through the bullet points above, whilst standing next to the stained glass window.
This year, the message of the campaign is clear – you are welcome to church.
Involving children and young people
Why not get the children and young people in your church involved with Stained Glass Summer?
Perhaps you could take some of the below inspiration for your Sunday school, or even for a crafts activity at your church’s summer holiday club!
- For younger children, have a look at sites like this one where you can download free stained glass colouring pages and print them off ready to use in Sunday School. If your church is open during the week, you could leave a pile of the colouring pages out for children to do – let your community know if you do this, parents might be glad to have something else to do during the summer holidays!
- Older children (or even adults!) could have a go at drawing/painting one of the stained glass windows in your church.
- Kids could make their own stained glass windows with tissue paper!
The below videos provide simple tutorials for creating stained glass-inspired crafts:
Once you’ve got some pieces of art, go ahead and take pictures of them to post on social media using #StainedGlassSummer. You could even stick them up around your church!
- Use the social media platform that is engaged with the most by your local community.
- Keep your caption as short and sharp as possible, making use of paragraphs to space the copy out.
- Choose whether to take the picture portrait or landscape, depending upon the shape of the window and the platform you are wishing to share it on. Generally speaking, portrait works well on Facebook and Instagram, and landscape on Twitter.
- If shooting a video, think about light, sound and stability. Make sure the camera is as still as possible, with no distracting shakes. When it comes to lighting, make sure the speaker is well lit. If they are stood directly in front of the window, they may become silhouetted, making it hard for the viewer to see the face of the person talking. Standing them just to one side may be better. Finally, try and record the video with as few people around as possible. This will cut out any unwanted noise.
- Naomi Ensor, Digital Labs Officer