New publication engages church with digital age

Friday April 3rd 2009

At the launch are: back row, L-R, Revd Ian Poulton, Lachlan Cameron, Bishop Michael Jackson, Dean Gordon Wynne; front row, L-R, Dr Susan Hood, Dr Raymond Refausse.Church of Ireland Publishing has launched an important new publication examining the pastoral implications of the new digital era for the whole church.

It has been produced by the Social Justice and Theology Group (Republic of Ireland) of the Church’s Church in Society Committee and is written by the chairperson and deputy chairperson of the group, the Very Revd Gordon Wynne, Dean of Leighlin, and Lachlan Cameron, a retired educationalist.

There are also individual contributions from users of new technologies, including the Rev Ian Poulton, a blogging rector in Dublin; Shane Tucker from the Church of Ireland Youth Department and Jack Deacon, a student and net surfer.

The publication was launched by the Rt Rev Dr Michael Jackson, Bishop of Clogher and Chair of the Church in Society Committee, at Church of Ireland House, Dublin on Wednesday April 1.

Bishop Jackson said: “The digital age has become a clichéd  phrase but the church, nonetheless, has the opportunity to embrace technology responsibly. In terms of networking, many people are now reliant on digital technology – and the same goes for their access to information.

“I greatly welcome this timely analysis of the potential for good and for sustaining community in digital communication by the Theology and Social Justice Panel of the Church in Society. Dean Wynne is always careful to consult locally when speaking into the wider church.”

Dean Wynne said: “The church is quick to use the evolving technology of communication when it suits it. The church also sees many of the dangers and risks inherent in the digital world, and the new balance of power it implies. This booklet is an attempt to bring the whole pastoral dimension into the open and to suggest ways of coping with it, bringing out the good and dealing with the bad.”

The book is available from the Good Bookshop, Donegall Street, Belfast and the Resource Centre, Rathmines, Dublin, price £5 or €6.

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