OMG! Bishops launch Twitter sermons

Right Revd Justin Welby, Bishop of Durham
Right Revd Justin Welby, Bishop of Durham
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TRADITIONAL Christmas worship – in 140 characters or less.

Senior bishops are taking Christmas Day sermons out of their churches on to the social network Twitter.

The Bishop of Durham will join Britain’s senior Anglican bishops in tweeting their festive services for the first time this year.

Soon-to-be Archbishop of Canterbury, the Right Reverend Justin Welby, will be joining the Archbishop of Canterbury, as well as clergy and congregations around the UK, in a campaign making use of social media.

Worshippers in the church’s 16,000 parishes are being encouraged to tweet on Christmas Eve and Christmas Day.

The Right Rev Welby said: “I will be fully support this campaign and encourage others across the church to do the same.

“My Christmas Day sermon will be tweeted in a series of snippets, and I hope to be tweeting during the rest of the Christmas period.

“The Church of England provides a Christian presence in every community and we are most used to this meaning physical communities, increasingly that means online communities as well.

“I think this a fantastic opportunity to engage with existing and new communities in a way that is growing in significance and I am very excited about being able to reach out to people that might not be able to get to a church and to celebrate the joy and meaning of Christmas with them.”

The Archbishops’ Council said it was a chance to spread Christmas “good news”.

Those taking part are likely to tweet from carol, crib and midnight services, before carrying on into Christmas morning when the highlights of the sermons at Canterbury Cathedral, York Minster and Durham Cathedral will be tweeted.

The campaign will use the hashtag #ChristmasStartsWithChrist, which goes live on Christmas Eve. Twitter users can follow the Bishop of Durham on @bishopofdurham.

The Catholic Church also joined the Twittersphere, with the Pope about to begin sending Twitter messages from a personal account, using the handle @pontifex.

Twitter: @janethejourno