The Church of England has launched a hunt for the new Archbishop of Canterbury on Twitter. Traditionally steeped in secrecy, the appointment process will begin with the first ever public consultation. A decision is expected in late May, when the Prime Minister is presented with two nominations, the first of which he chooses by convention. Dr John Sentamu, who has 21,000 Twitter followers, is the frontrunner.
HOW I SEE IT
Jonathan Kirkby, Founder and director, Instinct PR
At first glance, it looks as if the Church is trying to be more accessible, interacting with younger people and inviting them to join the discussion.
However, isn't it really just a way to earn some publicity? It seems a little gimmicky. The Church will gather thoughts through Twitter, but will still hold numerous private meetings with senior and influential figures to choose a successor. The question that arises is whether it will consider Twitter comments, or is it all for show?
How will the views of the many people in the UK who take their faith extremely seriously be prioritised? The Church can't make this selection process look too light-hearted and potentially turn it into an X Factor-style contest among candidates of 'I have more followers than you'.
It has got the Church publicity, but potentially not the right kind.