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Supporting the Diocese in Europe to go digital

Four people wearing blue cassocks stood in St John's Anglican Church, Ghent

Supporting the Diocese in Europe to go digital

Published: 16 February 2021
A Benefact Trust grant of £250,000 is supporting the Diocese in Europe’s drive to go digital, helping better connect ministry and mission across the continent.
The Diocese in Europe is present in 40 countries with over 300 congregations. Although it is vast, the diocese is thinly spread and therefore it makes it challenging to stay connected physically on a day-to-day basis.
The global pandemic has made physical connection harder still, and increased the need to adapt to digital ways of working in order to reach out to communities in the most challenging of times.
Over a three year period, and with the support of Benefact Trust funding, Diocese in Europe will roll out its Digital Diocese project and enhance its online support for its chaplaincies and communities.
The project will include:

A new website
The current website will be replaced with a new version that is easier, cleaner and simpler to use, so that it will meet both the needs of people in the diocese and attract new users.
New resources will be developed to enable chaplaincies to significantly improve their own web presence in order to connect as effectively as possible with local communities.
Supported networks for ministry and mission
The Diocesan Strategy Walking Together in Faith and the Bishop’s Council has identified four main focuses: 
  1. Better equip lay and ordained leaders
  2. Present a green church
  3. Develop ministry to children and young people
  4. Increase ministry to disadvantaged people, including migrants and asylum seekers. 
New network building is essential for success against these outcomes, linking up chaplaincies and specific groups at every level across the diocese.
New digital content and improved use of Social Platforms
The programme will enable an increase in written and video content to be shared across the continent.
This will help chaplaincies to connect with each other and the wider world; increase their confidence and expertise in social media; and help them to support growth and discipleship locally.
Female vicar taking selfie with two others in church pews
New training resources
Digital Diocese will fund the publication of materials for a new Lay Discipleship course and training programme.
There will also be enhanced social media and digital communications training for all levels.
Sharing beyond the diocese
The Diocese in Europe intends to make its Digital Diocese resources available to ecumenical and faith partners, and also the parishes in the UK, to support and maintain contact in the aftermath of Brexit.
Bishop Robert, Chief Pastor of the Diocese in Europe, said: “Covid-19 has shown how well our chaplaincies have responded to meet the acute challenges of being a church and being together in these times. The Digital Diocese project, generously supported by Benefact Trust, will help us do both. Work towards achieving it will be both challenging and exciting. With the right blend of skills and resources, and vitally important engagement across chaplaincies and the groups it will support, I believe it promises to be a rewarding long-term effort for us, as disciples in a more fully networked Diocese.”
Jeremy Noles, Head of Grants and Relationships at Benefact Trust, added: “These exciting plans to grow their digital capability will enable the Diocese in Europe to reach many more people with engaging content, equipping and empowering people across many countries to increase their digital outreach to their disciples and help their communities to feel more connected. The challenges presented by the Covid-19 pandemic have only accelerated the need for this work and we’re delighted that our funding will enable the Diocese in Europe to build on the learnings of the last year and be even more creative and diverse in their mission.”
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