The digital landscape changes rapidly and continues to do so. It’s important to think about how the conversations we have online can have a positive influence on someone else. Therefore, we would like to encourage those of you who use online platforms and social media to focus on pastoral behaviour online.
Whether you’re a member of the clergy, a churchgoer or a staff member, we all have different ways of responding and engaging online, as well as different areas of interest. But it’s important to remember that the comments we make can reach thousands, even millions of people very quickly.
As representatives of the Church of England, how we behave online and on social media matters – just as it does in the real world.
There are a number of ways we can make the digital world as loving and generous as we would when speaking face to face. Here are some key aspects to think about;
- Truth: we should hold ourselves to high ideals of checking that what we post online is fair and factual
- Kindness: we are all different and that makes the world an interesting place, and at times a challenging one. Think the best of people, whether they share our views or are speaking against them and aim to be constructive in the way we engage.
- Welcome: in the language we use and the way we interact. It’s easy for Christians to speak in another language using words that those outside Church might not relate to.
- Inspiration: we are called to be witnesses of our faith and to use social media in a way that genuinely engages others.
- Togetherness: we are one Church and other members of this Church are our brothers and sisters in Christ. It is crucial we treat those around us in this way.
- Safeguarding: if you have any concerns about the wellbeing of children, young people and vulnerable adults that you see online, please contact our safeguarding adviser: firstname.lastname@example.org
If you agree with all the above, The Church of England has a voluntary digital charter which you may like to encourage your church to sign up to, or to sign as an individual.
You can sign the voluntary charter here: Digital Charter | The Church of England
The Church of England social media community guidelines can be found here: Our social media community guidelines | The Church of England
The Diocese of Norwich communications team are here to help you with work related online and social media support. Do contact email@example.com for digital support if required.