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Sign the pledge to make social media kinder

THE Bishop of Oxford is urging everyone to play their part in making social media kinder.

The Rt Revd Dr Steven Croft’s comments came as the Church of England launched a Digital Charter. The charter includes guidelines and a pledge everyone can add their name to, committing to make social media a more positive place. “I’ve signed up to the Charter and I hope you will too,” says Bishop Steven.

Over the last three years, the Diocese has been studying the Beatitudes as collectively churchgoers have considered how to be a more Christ-like Church for the sake of God’s world. “Recently I’ve begun to ponder what those eight beautiful qualities might mean for social media and our online lives,” says Bishop Steven. He has produced a short reflection on each and the graphic below has now been seen and shared by thousands of people in 48 hours.

 

“Fifteen years ago, Facebook, Twitter and YouTube didn’t exist. Today, 67 per cent of people in the UK are active users of at least one of them and we now spend almost two hours each day on social media. Yet society is increasingly fearful of the risks of fake news and harmful content and distrustful of the very platforms that consume so much of our time.

“Advances in technology have brought sharp ethical dilemmas and deeper questions of human identity. There are important debates to be had about the exploitation of our personal data, along with the threats (and benefits) of AI. These will take time and will require legislation, but we can also do something right now: let us each play our part in making social media kinder.”

For interview requests, please contact Steven Buckley

Order your Advent Beatitudes course now!

As part of the Bishop of Oxford’s invitation to everyone in the diocese to explore the Beatitudes, Bishop Steven has written a three-session course which can be used at Advent. It is a 32 page booklet and is suitable for small groups.

The booklet costs £2.50 for each person and more than 2,700 copies have been ordered already. Order online or call in to Church House in Oxford during office hourse to purchase a copy.

Bishop Steven said: ‘I’m hoping churches will use this specially written resource to help them study and understand the Beatitudes. For me the Beatitudes have eight beautiful qualities, but eight is quite a lot to remember so I’ve been keen to capture what they mean in three words: contemplative, compassionate and courageous.

‘I want people to be asking what do these words teach us and tell us about Jesus, what do they tell us about being human in the 21st century and what do they tell us about what kind of Church we’re called to be.’

Supporting material in the form of audio and video resources will be published in early November.

Podcast

Courageous (Audio Version)

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Compassionate (Audio Version)

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Contemplative (Audio Version)

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Courageous (Reflection)

Compassionate (Reflection)

Contemplative (Reflection)