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C of E reaches 1m people on social media each week
A year since the Church of England adopted a new social media approach, figures show they reach over one million people each week online.
Videos, podcasts, blogs and images including prayers are reaching an online audience of 1.2 million a month through Facebook, Twitter, Instagram and LinkedIn, according to the statistics from the Church of England digital project.
Reach is defined as the number of people who have seen content on social media.
During Christmas, 1.5 million were reached through the Church's award-winning #JoyToTheWorld campaign featuring short films.
A further 2.5 million were reached during Lent, the season before Easter, through the #LiveLent 2017 project.
The digital campaign has been funded as part of the Church of England's Renewal and Reform programme and is intended to help the Church of England become a growing church in all places and for all people.
The three-year digital transformation includes the launch of a new 'A Church Near You' website by the end of 2017.
In addition, a series of free training courses has been launched for churches on promoting their parishes through social media with more than half of the Church of England 42 dioceses signed up to take part so far.
William Nye, Secretary General to the General Synod, said: "At the heart of the mission of the Church of England is a commitment to proclaiming the gospel afresh in each generation.
"This year's Statistics for Mission provide a sobering reminder of the long-term challenge we face. This challenge is likely to persist for some years ahead.
"The figures on digital impact, which we are also releasing today, show one of the ways in which we are doing that, as the online dimension of people's lives becomes ever more significant.
"Our challenge is to join up that growing online Church life to the physical community of Church that forms the body of Christ."
Adrian Harris, Head of Digital Communications for the Church of England said: "We saw 1.5 million reached by our 2016 #JoyToTheWorld Christmas campaign and 2.5 million with #LiveLent.
"Over the last 12 months we tripled the number of followers on Facebook and Instagram, which indicates that people want to know more of the love of Jesus Christ."
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