The Church of Ireland has been awarded funding to help it develop its online communities. The money will enable the sharing of resources between parishes and also provide central support to all parish communities across the island of Ireland via a “Parish Resources” section on the main Church of Ireland website.
The £60,000 grant, from Allchurches Trust Ltd, will enable the development of a database so church members can more easily connect with each other. The idea is to help the Church respond to the changing requirements of its membership and try to reduce the risk of people, especially the young, feeling disconnected. In addition, through online meeting facilities, the new resource aims to encourage the growth of the Church’s people-network across distance, generations and differences in lifestyle.
The Archbishop of Armagh, Richard Clarke and the Archbishop of Dublin, Michael Jackson, welcomed the grant saying it would help the Church face the challenges of an increasingly secular society.
The Chairman of Allchurches Trust, Sir Philip Mawer, said, “Allchurches has a long and proud tradition of support for the Church of Ireland and we are delighted that our latest grant will help its people network go digital. Online communities can work for Christians too and we are fortunate to be living in an age where the spiritual as well as the physical distances between people can be shrunk with the aid of digital communications.”