Keen to keep up with advancing technology and to find new ways of increasing supporter awareness, the Church of England is expanding its digital efforts with an electronic news bulletin and trial podcasts now available on its website.
The Church has followed many other civic and charitble bodies by launching a new Communications Update in the form of a monthly e-bulletin for anyone wanting to catch up with what it is doing nationally.
In addition, a trial podcast of two items at the July 2007 sessions of the General Synod (its governing body) has been created to supplement the audio files already available on the Church of England website.
Podcasts currently available to listen to on MP3 players, as are the Archbishop of York's Presidential Address and the debate on the Anglican Covenant proposal - which aims to keep the church together in the face of often vituperative arguments about sexuality, scripture and authority.
Peter Crumpler, director of communications for the Archbishops’ Council, said: “Both these initiatives are designed to help parishioners keep in touch with the wider work of the Church... while the trial Synod podcasts have been produced in response to a number of requests.”
The Church of England has already made sermon material by Archbishop Rowan Williams available on YouTube, which is popular with young people and new media enthusiasts.
But it has received mixed reaction to its efforts, with some critics describing the content as "rather boring to all but aficionados of church politics and church rhetoric."
The Church of England has in turn criticised the BBC for not providing what it sees as enough appropriate religious coverage.
For more information, see the Church of England's official website: www.cofe.anglican.org/
The current Communications Update can be found at: www.cofe.anglican.org/info/cofegazette
The General Synod podcasts complement full information about July 2007’s meeting available on the C of E website at: www.cofe.anglican.org/about/gensynod/agendas/july2007.html