1960s: Mission and Communication

'Mission and Communication’ was the theme of a pioneering conference organised by Parish and People in 1963. It was an early recognition that England was no longer a routinely churchgoing country and was beginning to lose touch with its Christian heritage.

At the same time televisions were being installed in most homes, pirate radio was broadcasting round our shores, and newspapers were no longer seeking the opinion of the vicar on every issue.

Peter Croft was one of the first of a new breed of Diocesan Communications Officers. John Cole took up a similar appointment in 1975. At the time, personal computers and mobile phones had not been invented.

What about today?

Nowadays, ‘media relations’ is a huge industry. Churches need to check every public utterance to see what ‘spin’ can be put on it. Effective communication is an essential part of serving God’s mission. As a means of publicity, however, newspapers – and print generally – have declined dramatically.

An internet revolution has also radically altered how news and ideas are disseminated. Already this revolution is in its fourth phase (at least!): It began with web sites, and then blogs. Now we have social networking sites such as Facebook and Twitter. It started on a desktop computer; now it can all be done on a mobile phone.

  • Have the churches, locally and nationally, kept pace with these developments?

  • Many local churches have web sites, but how many have a Facebook page?

  • How many bishops and other church leaders tweet?

How Parish & People is still at work:

Download these two new booklets:

"As others see us"

A report by Sue Rodd on her research in her Wiltshire village - which reveals a huge communications gap between the residents and their local churches. 

A Communications Toolkit

The Salisbury Diocesan Communications Team provides this exciting new toolkit to help local churches to communicate effectively with those around them.