Thinking Anglicans

church attempts to use new media

Jonathan Wynne-Jones has had two stories in the Sunday Telegraph lately on this:

14 Jan For YouTube, read PewTube

21 Jan Hug somebody for Lent

The latter was triggered by a Church of England official press release titled: Lent – now str8 2 ur fone about the Love Life Live Lent campaign. The associated website is not what you might expect, but rather is www.livelent.net.

Both these projects are subjected to some serious criticism, first by Dave Green at wannabepriest under the title Oi, Williams…. NOOOO! and then by Dave Walker at The Cartoon Blog. I agree with their comments. What do TA readers think?

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Raspberry Rabbit
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Simon. The United Church of Canada has recently given it a shot. The results – pretty or no – can be found at

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=njuq0NundBE

Pluralist
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It’s just a mismatch. Bring back the Nine O’Clock Service (Sheffield). That’ll look good.

andrewdb
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andrewdb

I think it is a great idea if the ABC wants to make sure his entire discussion, in context, is available directly to people who want to seek that out (no disrespect to Ruth Gledhill or Jonathan Petre, but I don’t need them to tell me what he said when I can watch it myself).

With all due respect to +++ Rowan’a tele-presence, if he expects this to be a wonderful evangilism tool that vastly increases church attendance, I think he will be dissappointed.

JaneS
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JaneS

I think the problem with the complaints about context is that they are falling into the dualistic idea that there is church, and then there is not church. There is the public space, and then there is the sacred space. There is a place where churches and their churchiness have a valid place, and there are places where they don’t. There’s a subtle “them and us” bias behind that. Somehow the church has to earn its right to fit in, in the medium, it seems. I question that. The fact is, YouTube is a cultural phenomenon based on the culture… Read more »

Fr Joseph O'Leary
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Alas, youtube is very much a private and personal forum — it is demotic, a descent to the give-and-take of the marketplace. A public figure like the Archbishop of Canterbury should have his voice and presence filtered through a public medium, in order to maintain the dignity and authority of his office. An official website, invited public lectures, essays in national newspapers, radio and television interviews all fit the profile, as would official broadcasts from Lambeth on a medium under church control. I hear that Cardinal Ratzinger was chary of speaking at public conferences or responding to questions. Like many… Read more »

David
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JaneS – thanks for your comments here about my article over on my own website. I personally can’t see how my comments fall into the dualistic notion you describe. I firmly believe that the Church could and should be participating in the “public space” as you describe it. However, as Church in that “public space”, I would like them to engage with genuine nous and communication skills. It’s not about being cool… it’s about talking a language that people understand. If Lambeth want to stream the Archbishop’s sermons over the Internet, they can do that from their own website. The… Read more »

David
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I thought you’d be interested to note that the CofE has formally responded over on my blog.

Maduka
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Maduka

Youtube is a golden opportunity for us to speak to people who would usually not give us the time of day.

The CofE website is Youtube. Youtube is the new Google.The

If the ABC is too dignified to speak on Youtube, then let someone else speak. Whatever,we need a gifted communicator.

The Church is no longer the buildings. The Church is in the public space.

JaneS
Guest

“However, as Church in that “public space”, I would like them to engage with genuine nous and communication skills. It’s not about being cool… it’s about talking a language that people understand.” I would hope that any preacher in any pulpit or public speaking space would engage nous and cultural sensitivity. That much goes without saying. But you are making the mistake that only Gen-Yers and your stereotypical YouTube browswer is using YouTube, as if somehow there’s a demographic that owns YouTube, which excludes traditional church communication. My point is that while the demographic may more or less be that… Read more »

Pluralist
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Has anyone watched those minority channels that get sent cheap programming, one of them being Nicky Gumbel standing up and doing a sermon of sorts to an audience at Holy Trinity Brompton. It is one of the most tedious pieces of TV going. Nutcases like me might watch it, just to see what the alternative universe looks like these days. and some of those in his line of work might think it’s all right, but anyone else must just yawn in puzzlement. That’s the problem. On the other hand, writing a letter to the government and talking about people with… Read more »