Social media is immediate, interactive, conversational and open-ended. This is different from other forms of communication.
We have less control, less time and sometimes less information, but we still need to engage and engage well. This means we need to think differently about how we use it, what we say and where we say it.
Why engage with social media?
We believe that social media offers a great opportunity for our churches, chaplaincies, schools and communities. In this digital age, where communities are forming online, we need to be part of the conversation. It is a way for our churches, schools, hospitals and others to branch out beyond their physical boundaries to meet people where they want to be met and be ambassadors for our faith.
How to be a model of good engagement
As Christians, the same principles that guide our offline conversations should apply to those that take place online. Interacting through social media does not change our understanding of confidentiality, responsibility and Christian witness. Our actions should be consistent with our work and Christian values, and every individual is responsible for the things they do, say or write.
We encourage people to apply the same common sense, kindness and sound judgement that we would use in a face-to-face encounter, so that social media can be a tool harnessed for good.
Do not let any unwholesome talk come out of your mouths, but only what is helpful for building others up according to their needs, that it may.’
Below are some resources that will help guide your thinking, but please do contact the Communications Team at any time for on-the-spot advice and guidance.
- The Diocese of Guildford has signed up to the Church of England Digital Charter and adopted their universal principle-based Social media Community Guidelines.
- Read more in our Diocesan Social Media Policy. This policy applies to all employees of the Diocesan Board of Finance, Clergy and other office holders, or those with a representative role, within the Diocese of Guildford.
- Understand our Electronic Communications Policy. This recognises that social media and other forms of electronic communications can be effective tools for doing your job and supporting the parishes, the Diocese and the wider Church of England. This policy has been developed to help you use the tools successfully and manage the risks. This policy is supported by the Diocesan Social Media and Media policies and aligns with the Consortium IT policy.
- Considering using social media - read our Social Media Strategy guide looking at which tool would help you, what to take into account and how to keep safe online.
- Watch a recording of a social media training session.
- For the latest digital evangelism and digital discipleship news, resources and guidance visit the Church of England’s Digital Lab.
- You may also find some of the resources on our Designing Your Communications page helpful.