Around 50 Christians with experience in digital communications are being brought together by the Church of England to pool ideas for new apps, websites and social media campaigns. A high-level panel of judges will sift through the suggestions put forward and two will be selected for future development. The Digital Labs day is being held on 24 February as part of the C of E’s Renewal and Reform programme, which seeks “to ensure the Church of England is a growing Church for all people and all places,” its head of digital communications, Adrian Harris said.
The 50 technicians and creatives, who have been drawn from all over the country, will present ideas and work together to pool knowledge and ideas for apps, websites and social media campaigns that will help people grow in faith and support the work of local churches. At the end of the day-long event, participants will present their suggestions to a panel “who have been chosen for their knowledge of digital, creativity and understanding of the breadth and depth of the Church of England,” the C of E said.
The panellists include James Poulter from the LEGO Group, BBC senior digital producer Lynda Davies, the Dean of Winchester, Catherine Ogle, and the artist and theologian Siku.
“We’re delighted with the combined knowledge and experience our judging panel brings to Church of England Digital Labs,” Harris said. “I’m really excited to hear the creative ideas on the day that will help us develop our digital evangelism and discipleship offering.”
This week, the C of E announced that its #GodWithUs Advent and Christmas social media campaign had a reach of 6.8 million people.
The campaign was designed to share a Christian message with the public, encourage people to attend their local church for a service or event in December, and to encourage people to take part in its Your Christmas Journey reflections.
“Working with Church House Publishing, we brought together print and digital, so posters, the printed reflections booklet and the social media resources all matched and were consistent for the public,” Harris said. “In addition, our new Church of England and A Church Near You websites allowed us to better direct people to their local church and the reflection resources we made available.
“Thanks to the collaboration across local churches, dioceses and national church bodies, the campaign had a reach of 6.8 million. Some people may have seen the content more than once, but our research suggests this overall figure is due to our targeted social media advertising and the appeal of the Your Christmas Journey reflections course.”