Back in February 2018, we ran a day-long event for Christian coders, website builders and designers who worked together to develop solutions to further the Church’s Renewal and Reform commitment: to be a growing church for all people in all places.
Two solutions were picked by a panel of judges and we’ve already started to develop one in the form of the Church of England’s Amazon Alexa skill. Next year’s event will be running on Saturday 16th March in Manchester and applications to join the event will be opening soon.
Alongside the announcement of the next Digital Labs event, we’re excited to be expanding Church of England Digital Labs further. The aim of the expansion is to be able to resource more churches with the right tools and skills they need to do digital effectively.
The first new resource launching today is a blog, published on the Church of England website. Through this blog, the Church of England digital team and other guest bloggers will be sharing their knowledge on design, photography, social media strategy and more. Aimed specifically at those running social and web projects in churches, we hope the advice will help grow the confidence of the Church’s digital skills and help us to reach more people online.
The second resource to the Digital Labs hub is social media training. Over the past 10 months the Digital Team have trained 500+ parishes in social and writing for the web training. The training day looked at how to use Facebook, Twitter and Instagram, dealing with negativity online, advertising, making the most of A Church Near You and learning about language and audiences for websites and social. The feedback we have received from the training has been really positive. Comments from participants described it as practical, comprehensive and informative.
We are now trialling a new model to allow us to provide training to even more churches without compromising on quality, running the training via a closed Facebook group. If you’re interested in being trained in social media, please contact your diocesan office.
Finally, we will also be producing a monthly email newsletter from the Digital Team. We understand it’s not always easy to keep up to date with all the changes to social media and we hope this will help churches keep in the know. The newsletter will include news and updates from our campaigns, products and websites as well as general digital news to be aware of, links to our latest blogs and more. You’ll be able to sign up to receive the newsletter via the website.
With this collection of resources available we hope churches will feel encouraged to step into the digital space and see the potential social media has to reach people in new ways. The tagline on our website states: A Christian presence in every community, and with Church of England Digital Labs we can be a Christian presence in the online community too.
The work of the Digital 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.