The Diocese of Manchester reports: Bishop silenced by email failure:
1 million spams and a virus bring down Bishop of Manchester & Church of England email systems.
The central offices of the Diocese of Manchester were without email from 3-13 March (10 days) following a virus infecting its servers and an unprecedented amount of spam. The problems have also affected the Bishops of Manchester and other senior clergy in the diocese.
While some emails have now been restored, others are still not getting through, particularly to satellite offices.
Two weeks ago, following continuing concerns over missing e-mails and an unacceptably high occurrence of breaks in service, the diocese changed its IT provider.
The new IT technicians discovered a virus and tried to remove it. While doing so they found that it had severely corrupted systems. This has meant that, since 3 March, e-mails sent to the Diocese of Manchester central offices, its Archdeacons, and the Bishops of Bolton and Middleton have not been received, nor have they been able to send e-mails. E-mails sent via the Diocese of Manchester website have not been delivered either.
In addition, an audit of the 6000 pieces of communications sent by the Bishop of Manchester over the past ten months revealed that a significant amount of electronic mail, though sent by the Bishop, may have been deleted during sending or has simply not been delivered by the system. In addition, many emails sent to the Bishop may not have been received.
A spokesman for the Bishop said, “Given the nature and scale of the problem it is likely that the Bishop will never fully know which e-mails failed to arrive nor the number of emails that were sent by others to him but were never received by his office. If people have written or emailed the Bishop of Manchester during the past ten months and not received a reply, it is likely that a system failure is to blame.”
“The new IT providers have been given the brief of establishing, as an urgent priority, a cast iron IT system for Bishops, Archdeacons and our central administration. If an e-mail is sent to us and a reply or acknowledgement has not been received within three days, then individuals should follow-up the message with a phone call. As a policy, where possible, people should always request a receipt when sending e-mail to us.”
As the Manchester Evening News reports:
The problem is particularly embarrassing because Mr McCulloch serves as the CoE’s communications spokesman.