Around 50 Christians with experience in digital communications are being brought together by the Church of England to pool ideas for new apps, websites and social media campaigns.
A high-level panel of judges will sift through the suggestions put forward and two will be selected for future development.
Digital Labs Day will be held February 24 as part of the C of E’s Renewal and Reform program, which seeks “to ensure the Church of England is a growing church for all people and all places,” its head of digital communications, Adrian Harris, said.
The 50 technicians and creatives, who have been drawn from all over the country, will present ideas and work together to create a digital campaign that will help people grow in faith and support the work of local churches. At the end of the day-long event, participants will present their suggestions to a panel “who have been chosen for their knowledge of digital, creativity and understanding of the breadth and depth of the Church of England,” the C of E said.
The panelists include James Poulter, senior manager in the Global Social Media Team at LEGO Group, BBC senior digital producer Lynda Davies, Dean of Winchester Catherine Ogle and artist and theologian Siku.
“We’re delighted with the combined knowledge and experience our judging panel brings to Church of England Digital Labs,” Harris said. “I’m really excited to hear the creative ideas on the day that will help us develop our digital evangelism and discipleship offering.”
This week, the C of E announced that its #GodWithUs Advent and Christmas social media campaign had a reach of 6.8 million people.
The campaign was designed to share a Christian message with the public, encourage people to attend their local church for a service or event in December and to take part in its Your Christmas Journey reflections.
“Working with Church House Publishing, we brought together print and digital, so posters, the printed reflections booklet and the social media resources all matched and were consistent for the public,” Harris said. “In addition, our new Church of England and A Church Near You websites allowed us to better direct people to their local church and the reflection resources we made available.”