Many clergy and churches are now taking to the internet and social media to promote their churches or ministries, but few have thought through some of the difficult pastoral and theological issues that may arise. 'Virtual vicar' Revd Pam Smith guides both new and experienced practitioners through setting up online ministries and considers some of the issues that may arise, such as: Are relationships online as valid as those offline? Is it possible to participate in a 'virtual' communion service? How do you deal with 'trolls' in a Christian way? What is it appropriate for a clergyperson to say on social media?
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About the Author
Pam Smith worked in education, women's health, and prison chaplaincy before being ordained in 2004. She has been actively involved in online Christian communities for ten years and is currently web pastor and priest in charge of i-church, the online ccommunity started by the Diocese of Oxford.