Bishops to tweet Christmas sermons

News Shopper: Archbishop of Canterbury designate Justin Welby will be tweeting his Christmas Day sermon Archbishop of Canterbury designate Justin Welby will be tweeting his Christmas Day sermon

The country's senior bishops are set to tweet their Christmas Day sermons for the first time this year in a Christmas Tweet campaign.

The Archbishop of Canterbury, Dr Rowan Williams (@lambethpalace), the Archbishop of York, Dr John Sentamu (@johnsentamu) and Archbishop Designate Justin Welby (@bishopofdurham) will also be joined by congregations and clergy from across the Church of England (@c_of_e).

On Christmas Eve and Christmas Day, churchgoers in the 16,000 parishes of the Church of England are being encouraged to live tweet the joy and meaning of Christmas to the 10 million UK Twitter users.

Rev Arun Arora (@RevArun), director of communications at the Archbishops' Council, said: "This is a brilliant opportunity for parishes to take the good news of the first Christmas out of churches and into people's lives and homes."

"It is the first time that the joy and excitement of Christmas will have been broadcast widely on Twitter. There are large numbers of social media enthusiasts to be found in pews and pulpits across the country.

"This is an invitation for them to join together to celebrate the joy of the Christ Child coming into the world, taking the real meaning of Christmas to a new digital audience. Churches from all denominations will be invited to broadcast their services via Twitter."

A Twitter spokesperson said: "Twitter brings you closer to the things you are passionate about - and for millions of people across the globe that is faith.

"It is fantastic to see the Church of England embracing Twitter and using it to share their Christmas message with new audiences."

The campaign will use the hashtage #ChristmasStartsWithChrist, which goes live on Christmas Eve.

Tweets can be expected 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.

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