The new leaders of the Methodist Church have launched a weblog to create a conversation with them among grassroots Christians during their year in office. The Rev Dr Martyn Atkins, President of the Conference, and Vice President Ms Ruby Beech, will use the weblog to open their thoughts for comment.
Summer has been a busy time for the churches and technology - with the Church of England starting to podcast its General Synod proceedings and announcing that its governing body now has a Facebook social networking page.
However Methodists have been in on the cyber-act for some time, with an established network of Methodist bloggers and a discussion site on moral and ethical issues.
Atkins and Beech began adding blog entries after the Methodist Conference in mid-July 2007.
Martyn Atkins Commented: “One of the most important tasks for the President and Vice President is to talk and listen to people. We will do this by speaking to individuals and groups and by travelling widely and our regular columns in the Methodist Recorder, but now we can add the weblog to this list as well.”
Ruby Beech added: “John and Charles Wesley travelled thousands of miles on horseback to meet people, and those meetings were often quite noisy and challenging."
She continued: "This weblog will allow us to discuss things with people all over the world, and to share our experiences. There are many weblogs by Methodists - both individuals and groups - and by people from other churches, but this is the first time that the President and Vice President have tried this.”
The weblog is at http://methodist-presandvp.blogspot.com/ and is open to all to read.
The Methodist Church is one of the largest Christian denominations in Britain, with nearly 300,000 members and regular contact with over 800,000 people. It has about 5,800 churches, and also maintains links with other Methodist churches totalling a worldwide membership of 70 million.