Ripon Cathedral will take the spotlight on social media platform Twitter this week when, from Monday Feb 1 for seven days their online media manager, Siân Lawton, becomes the national voice of @OurCofE.
Each week a different person from across England who works for the church is chosen to ‘tweet’ about their faith, their work and their experiences in 140 characters or less using the national @OurCofE twitter name which is followed by thousands of people.
Siân Lawton manages the online ministry for Ripon Cathedral and lives in Middleham, North Yorkshire with her curate husband Chris Lawton. “Managing the Online Ministries means that I manage the Facebook page and Twitter feed” explains Siân, who believes that social media is important, even for ancient institutions like a cathedral.
“For the Cathedral, the Facebook page and the Twitter feed are areas of ministry where we attract people who wouldn’t necessarily come into the actual Cathedral. People sometime find it easier to talk about faith in with degree of anonymity and the Social Media which the cathedral has often allows people to engage with Christian faith in a way they wouldn’t have done other ones. We often get Prayer request and questions from people for the cathedral via Social Media.”
In addition to managing the online ministry, Siân is also exploring a vocation to ordained ministry and vocations will also feature, she says in her tweets for @OurCofE. “During February the Church of England has asked for prayer directed towards vocation and so as my turn on @OurCofE coincides with the start of this I will be posting a little about my vocational journey.”
Siân and Chris have four children. “I will also be tweeting about what it is like to be part of a married couple who both work for the Church of England and the joys and the tribulations that accompany that!”
Ripon Cathedral’s Facebook page is followed or ‘liked’ by more than three thousand people and regularly reaches more than 10,000 people each week and its Twitter account, @riponcathedral, is followed by more than 3,800 people.
Other recent tweeters on @OurCofE from the diocese have been Leeds vicar, the Revd Joanna Seabourne, and Katherine Grasham, the children and young families worker from Holy Trinity Church in Skipton.