The other week I had quite a decent phone conversation with Harriet Sherwood, journalist at The Guardian. Some of that conversation made it into an article about religion getting involved online:

In September the C of E appointed Adrian Harris as its head of digital communications to drive its strategy forward. Harris had previously led digital communications teams at Bupa, Tesco and the Conservative party. He said there was “a huge amount of untapped potential”.


Bex Lewis, senior lecturer in digital marketing at Manchester Metropolitan University, said she had “clapped my hands very loudly” at the appointment, but argued that the church was still slow to adapt to and embrace the digital age.


“At the top [of the church] it’s like trying to turn round an oil tanker,” she said, although the C of E’s engagement with Pokémon Go players earlier this year had been encouraging. “But there’s some really interesting stuff happening at the bottom.”


Christian meme sites such as Anglican Memes and Jesus Loves You were popular, Lewis said. “Fun is important. The general perception of religion is that it’s overly judgmental, and we can show that’s not the case.”


The diocese of Lichfield appointed the church’s first online pastor this year, a move that other dioceses were likely to follow, said Lewis.

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