The Church of England is launching a year long project on Twitter to tell the story of the Church of England through the eyes of its people, providing a daily insight into modern faith in action.
The Project - @OurCofE - will be launched on 3rd March 2014 where over the course of a year, bishops, clergy, chaplains, youth workers and churchgoers from around the country will be given a week each to tweet about their life inside the Church of England.
The project is inspired by similar twitter accounts such as @sweden which was set up by the Swedish tourist board who invited people to take turns in tweeting their life in Sweden for a week, each with their own unique view of the country.
Followers of the account will be given an insight into all the work that goes on into the day to day running of a church community from schools to chaplaincies to cathedrals. Followers will be able to peek behind the scenes as they get a feel for daily life in parishes. Tweets will come from a diverse group of people including Bishops, Vicars, volunteers, youth workers, chaplains and worshippers from across the Church.
Speaking ahead of the launch Claire Diaz-Ortiz, Head of Social Innovation at Twitter, said:
"The incredible engagement levels we see on religious tweets the world over prove the power of 140 characters to convey hope, motivation, and inspiration. The @OurCofE Twitter account will build on this by telling the story of the Church of England through the eyes of its people, providing a fascinating insight into modern faith in action. Spanning great cathedrals to tiny parishes, it will provide real-time glimpses into the workings of the church for followers across the world, 140 characters at a time."
The Revd. Jeremy Fletcher, one of the 52 weekly tweeters for the year, and the Vicar of Beverley Minster said: "Being a parish priest is one of the most varied jobs anyone could have. From one hour to the next you can be with people in their best and worst experiences. No two days are the same. I want to tweet about it to let people know what it's like doing what I do, and about the fantastic people and organisations who welcome the church's involvement."
The Revd. Kate Bottley, A vicar and FE college chaplain from North Nottinghamshire, another of the weekly tweeters said: "I'm really excited to be asked to be part of the Church of England's @OurCofE twitter project. The project provides a unique opportunity to demonstrate the rich diversity of life in the. Church of England. It's great to think that these tweets might paint a colourful picture of the day to day runnings of the Church of England. From Morning prayer to afternoon tea, Our Fathers to mother unions, from food festivals to food banks, this Twitter project gives a glimpse at the glorious diversity that is the life of the Church of England, will 140 characters be enough? I can't wait to get started."
Talitha Proud, Digital Media Officer for the Archbishops' Council adds "Social media is a great way of sharing stories and @OurCofE is our way of celebrating the Christian faith in action in communities across the country"
The Rev. Arun Arora, Director of Communications for the Archbishops' Council said: "Social media is an ideal platform to provide a flavour of the myriad of daily activity and service that the Church undertakes each day. We are delighted with the support and engagement we have had from Twitter in establishing the project. From Assemblies to funerals, prisons to hospitals, workplaces to Cathedrals, Parliament to parish the Church of England is at work daily to show the love of God to the people of England."
Those wishing to volunteer as one of the tweeters can sign up here:http://www.churchofengland.org/ourcofe
@OurCofE Twitter account - https://twitter.com/OurCofE