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New Bishop of Chichester tweeting for the Lord
The new Bishop of Chichester will be spreading the word in 140 characters in a bid to get more people to come to church.
The Right Reverend Dr Martin Warner, who was appointed yesterday (May 3), wants to turn Twitter followers into followers of the Lord.
His account @bishopofwhitby currently has 592 followers and he tweets regularly.
The 53-year-old said social media was a great way to spread the word of God and reach new people.
He said: “There are all sorts of things like social networking sites which are important.
“One of the things that I really like about Twitter is that you have to be succinct so you have to be simple.
“The story of Christ can appear complicated and obscure so it shows us how to express ourselves in really simple terms.
“But the best way of communicating the gospel is person to person telling the other.
“I am confident we can grow and build on that and the church’s presence here.”
Self-proclaimed queen of Twitter and social media guru Wendy Kier agreed with the bishop’s approach.
She said: “Twitter is one of today’s most powerful communications tools and it connects millions of people of every religious persuasion.
“As such it’s an efficient and modern way for us to reach out to internet-aware Christians everywhere.”
Dr Warner has replaced the Right Reverend John Hind, who retired last month, as head of the Church of England in Sussex.
The former Suffragan Bishop of Whitby said: “It is a daunting and exciting challenge to be asked to serve the people of Sussex as the next Bishop of Chichester.
“I look forward very much to learning more about the mission in which we shall be engaging together, though it will be a big wrench leaving the North East so soon.”
The new bishop visited St Peter’s Church in Brighton yesterday and said the regeneration work at the old building was symbolic of the work of the Church.
He said: “I think it is shows fresh life and confidence in the Church’s outreach into the community.
“It could be repeated in many of the other churches in Brighton and it gives me great hope for the future.”
His appointment comes in a difficult period for the Diocese of Chichester which faces scrutiny over allegations of child abuse by former priests.
The Archbishop of Canterbury, Dr Rowan Williams, last year launched an inquiry to examine child protection arrangements in the diocese in response to concerns.