From the Diocese of St Albans

A message from Arun Kataria, Diocesan Communications Officer (29 November 2018)

Communication is changing

We are putting more emphasis on communicating through social and digital media alongside introducing a quarterly printed magazine from this Advent. The intention is better to support churches in their mission especially at this very busy time at Christmas.  The changes reflect a similar shift in national church communications.
 
Alban Life is a new quarterly printed magazine for the people of St Albans Diocese.  To be published at Advent, Lent, Pentecost and Harvest, each edition will give you 28 pages of encouraging, informing and inspiring stories about current issues and themes relevant to the life of people and churches in St Albans Diocese.  We will be distributing the first few copies of Alban Life to you free of charge so you can get to know it.
 
Copies should be arriving at churches tomorrow, 30 November, for distribution to their congregation, and we hope that you and they will enjoy reading it.  We will circulate a short survey after the magazine has been released, and would be grateful for any feedback as we begin planning and writing future editions. 
 
E-News will replace SeeRound as a fortnightly e-mail roundup of news from the diocese and from parishes, forthcoming events, people notices and vacancies.  Do make sure you are signed up to receive this by clicking here, and please encourage your PCC and congregations to do the same.  This will not be produced as a separate printable PDF as it is designed to be read online on your computer or mobile phone, but each page can be printed directly from the website if preferred. 
 
Social Media our presence on FacebookTwitter and Instagram continues to grow, please do make sure you are following us if you use any of these networks, and encourage others to do the same.
 
Our Mission and Communications Teams have produced a short Christmas video called 'I'm dreaming of a bright Christmas' to help parishes reach new people through social media and encourage them to come to church. The film was released earlier this week and has already had an overwhelming response on social media.  Click to view the film on Facebook or Twitter.  The film can also be downloaded here.  This can also be seen on the parish Facebook page.
 
And nationally:
Remember that info about our churches and other churches can be found on A Church Near You, the church finding website, which is recording a significant increase in visits, to 10 million page impressions in the year to December 17, 82% of which traffic is from new visitors to the site.
 
Christmas campaign - Follow the Star  For some years now, there has been a national Church of England Christmas campaign which promotes the message of Christmas and allows the considerable social media participation in Christmas activities in church and online to be measured.
 
This year, the campaign is called #FollowTheStar. Christ Church & St John's have subscribed to this. There are full details here https://www.churchofengland.org/christmas.  On Friday 21 December look out for a 'Night of the Stars' which makes the Christmas story more prominent.